Blanketeers provide more than warmth

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April 14, 2016 6:00 AM

The ladies at Hearthstone Place contributed more than 60 quilts to Project Linus this year, that will go to children who are victims of emergency situations. From left: Irmgard Telidetzki, Vivienne Popowich, Eileen Gray, Phyllis Volk and Dorothy Parker.

The ladies at Hearthstone Place independent living centre were at it again, crafting their handmade quilts for the charity Project Linus.
This year they knitted more than 60 quilts, and threw together some other warm garments for good measure, which will all be donated to the project that gives warmth to children in tragedy.
“It makes you feel good,” said Irmgard Telidetszki, one of the so-called blanketeers, of what she enjoys about knitting for Project Linus.
“Gives us something to do; keeps us busy.”
Along with Telidetzki there are four other blanketeers from Hearthstone Place, who include Phyllis Volk, Eileen Gray, Vivienne Popowich and Dorothy Parker.
This is the second year in a row they’ve put needle to yarn for the project, which is named after Charley Brown’s ever-blanketed best friend, but this time around they’ve upped the ante from 27 quilts to 63, and included some knitted slippers, bonnets and scarfs as well.
Most of these items will be delivered to the Interval Home, where they’ll be enjoyed by the children of women who use the services there.
Project Linus also donates to young victims of fires, vehicle collisions and other emergency situations, and because they’re considered “security blankets,” the children get to keep them forever instead of having to give them back after.
Arlene Lane, project coordinator for the Lloydminster area, explained how Project Linus got started in the U.S. more than 20 years ago.
“There’s always a need unfortunately, and because it’s a security thing,  it actually started off with a child in chemo (therapy) who needed a security blanket,” she said. “The girl who started it in the States figured every child that goes through treatments and serious illnesses, that they should have a security blanket.”
Now, more than five million blankets have been given out since 1995.
The ladies at Hearthstone Place got on board when life enrichment manager Janet Gatzke asked Lane if they could contribute, a question to which Lane answered, of course.
“I knew Arlene through another really good friend of ours, her name is Randi Smith, then I got a hold of Arlene and I asked if these ladies could join in and she said, for sure, by all means,” said Gatzke.
“Because there are always so many kids that go through so many tragedies that you never hear about or know about, and our ladies are so generous and awesome that they’re the ones that got in on the project with us, knitting and crocheting.”
Smith also contributed to the 63 quilts donated by Hearthstone Place, which will hopefully give warmth to local children in need, and maybe, like Linus, they’ll carry them around for years to come.

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