Thanks to a group of caring women, Headstart students have quilted pillows to snuggle up with.
The ladies, known as the Crafty HAND-ed Grannies, reside at Lake View Manor. One after noon a week, they gather in the activity room with their smiles and yarn or sewing supplies. They love the idea that the hand-made items they are creating, are going to children in need.
The HANDS group (which actually stands for Helping Angels Nationally Donated Support) is a national charity dedicated to making clothing, toys and other items for children in crisis. The organization is seen in nearly all of the 149 facilities around the nation associated with the Retirement Housing Foundation, which Lake View Manor is associated with.
What began as a small effort to sew and knit a few items for Family Steps, a teen mom program; Headstart; and the Council Against Domestic Abuse, has blossomed into a project that tugs at the heart.
Initially, a $50 gift card from Wal-Mart helped to purchase supplies. Churches were contacted and asked to be a part of the effort; members filled boxes with materials and gratefully used by the women. The project has grown tremendously through the years. The group began meeting for 30 minutes each week which was increased to 90 minutes and now the women stay and lovingly work on their projects for three hours a week! Many even go back to their apartments and continue where they left off; some even work during the night to beat insomnia.
Each woman, unique in her own way - some with sewing experience, some that have never picked up a needle, some with knitting and crocheting experience, some with disabilities - doesn't let anything hinder her involvement.
This year, Headstart requested pillows for the children to use at nap time. It it is all team work that has allowed the production of the 162 quilted pillows, 10 big fluffy pillows and pillowcases for small pillows.
In the past years, the ladies lovingly created colorful quilts and crocheted bonnets, booties or scarves for the children; with numbers over 200.
Donations were recently made to Headstart and one classroom of children (classroom #2, representing all of Headstart) visited Lake View Manor last week to share songs and smiles with the residents, in appreciation for the gifts.
The ladies have already started on their next donation to Headstart which will be made next year.
Ladies who were part of the 2008 HANDS group were: Lucy Clark, Darnell Johnson, Loraine Carlton, Reva Reissen, MArian Sheirbon, Naomi Hinkel, Norma Delp, Peggy Miller, Lorna Newell, Thelma Cash, Darlene Evans and service coordinator Jess Rebhuhn.
"We have received many donations form the publioc to help our group," said Rebhuhn. And the ladies are most grateful. Headstart purchased all of the material for the pillow cases and the stuffing for the pillows.