Volunteers blanket Make a Difference Day

NEIGHBORS

October 30, 2002|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLORFUL FABRIC was turned into 220 comforting blankets by 51 volunteers Saturday at North Carroll High School for Make a Difference Day.

The volunteers worked for Project Linus, an international organization that creates blankets to comfort children who are ill, injured or traumatized. The Carroll County chapter of Project Linus is coordinated at North Carroll High School by Judy Walter and Mary Jo Kraft. It has delivered 2,187 handmade blankets to children at area hospitals and social services agencies since April last year.

Make a Difference Day is a national day of helping others sponsored by USA Weekend magazine and its carrier newspapers.

For the second year, "blanketeers," as Walter calls them, arrived from as far as the Pennsylvania towns of Glenville and Hanover to sew in the school cafeteria.

By midday, at least 40 children and adults were busy cutting, pinning, sewing and tying new cloth into quilts or crocheting from a rainbow of yarn.

Additional finished handmade blankets were delivered by community members to add to the count. Donations for Make a Difference Day were received from 24 local businesses, including refreshments and door prizes.

"Our oldest blanketeer is Mary Timberman, who is 88, a lovely lady who can crochet up a storm," Walter said. Timberman's daughter Pat Timberman and Sharon Sweet solicited door prizes for the event. Her son Scott Timberman, a disc jockey, spun background music.

"I like helping out like this. It makes it nice. I'm a volunteer firefighter. Volunteering is in my blood," Scott Timberman said.

Millie Tracey, Jean Wineke and Linda Wandel of the county group Everybody's Quilt Guild each had stitched about eight quilts by noon. They weren't making heirlooms that day, but sturdy quilts for children.

"Machined quilts stand up to washers and dryers. Kids are going to use these," Tracey said.

Kari Anne Martin, an eighth-grade student from Glenville, Pa., had learned to sew patches into quilts during the summer from her grandmother Leuvena Merryman of Upperco. When Merryman spotted the Project Linus event in the newspaper, they decided to sew together to benefit others.

For the second year, the mother-daughter team of Beth Rudy and Meghan Rudy, age 10, drove in from Hanover, Pa., to spend the day.

"I've been looking forward to this all year," Meghan said, knotting fringe on a square of printed fleece.

Dixie Elmes, who teaches family and consumer science at East Middle School, wanted to "see what this is all about, and come for just a few hours," she said. She found the range of techniques interesting because some were simple enough for children to do.

Members of the Shiloh Middle School Project Linus Club were making sandwich layers of top and bottom fabric. Ashton Spenner said the club has about 10 girls who meet three times a month and have made three blankets.

In the end, 220 blankets were finished and 100 quilts were started as kits for community members to take home.

Finished quilts were headed for the Johns Hopkins Intensive Care Unit and other hospitals. To date, Carroll County General Hospital has received 410 blankets, and four other hospitals combined have received about 900 more.

Social service agencies in Carroll receive blankets, as do individual children. Most of the time, care is taken to match a blanket for the person who will receive it.

Donations of new fabric, polyester batting, thread and yarn are collected all year to be made into quilts by Project Linus volunteers.

Materials and finished blankets are collected at Jomax Sew & Vac Center, Westminster, and the Hampstead Wal-Mart, near the service desk.

Cash donations, which are used to buy sewing supplies and for other needs, can be sent to Project Linus, C/O 1803 Harvey Yingling Road, Manchester 21102.

Information: 410-374-9741.

Fall harvest festival

An evening of family fun will be held from 6 to 8:30 tomorrow at Kirkridge Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church, 2236 Old Fort Schoolhouse Road, Manchester.

The event will include games and prizes, hayrides, a potluck dinner and dessert contest.

Information: Tom and Heidi Stone, 410-239-1334.

Plastic models

Model makers can share their work and learn techniques at a monthly club that meets at North Carroll library branch, 2255 Hanover Pike, Greenmount.

Those who make models of plastic only are invited to Carroll County Model Club. It meets from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month in the small meeting room.

Models are displayed, products for the craft are discussed, and methods are shared. Model makers of all ages are welcome.

Information: 410-239-4709 after 8 p.m.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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