Quilters help keep holidays warm
HERON LAKE -- For 26 years, a group of women at Sacred Heart Catholic Church has been sewing quilts to give away to others. This year, some of those quilts -- for the first time -- will be going to assist with Worthington's 2009 Community Christm...
HERON LAKE -- For 26 years, a group of women at Sacred Heart Catholic Church has been sewing quilts to give away to others.
This year, some of those quilts -- for the first time -- will be going to assist with Worthington's 2009 Community Christmas Basket program. Through contact with Nichole Paladie of Catholic Charities in Worthington, the group plans to bring a number of quilts to American Reformed Church in Worthington for distribution to needy persons in the Worthington area.
Elaine Stenzel, a longtime member of Sacred Heart's quilters, said the group is more than happy to help with the Christmas Basket program in Worthington.
"I asked Nicole and told her I'd like to give the quilts in the area," Stenzel said Monday. "Otherwise, they'd go to Sioux Falls or the Mary Jo Copeland Sharing and Caring Center (in Minneapolis), where they help the homeless."
The Sacred Heart quilters also give their creations to the food shelf in Heron Lake each year. The contingent of "at least 13," Stenzel said, has made as high as 350 quilts in one year; last year, it made about 300.
"We meet January through April, every Tuesday afternoon for those four months," Stenzel said. "It's people around here that are retired and want to help the poor ... and, of course, we also enjoy visiting and catching up on the news.
"The pay is out of this world," she added with a laugh, "and it's a great way to waste some time."
The quilts made by the Sacred Heart group are by no means ornate, but they are practical.
"Sometime quilters make these really fancy quilts where they cut out all these little pieces and put them together," Stenzel explains. "We don't decorative quilts. We make them very usable and very warm."
Every one of the quilts made by the quilting club, which has its meetings inside the old Sacred Heart School, is given away.
"With the Christmas Baskets in Heron Lake, last year 70 baskets were given out and each one had a quilt or blanket in it," Stenzel said. "So, I'm saving enough for that this year. Helping Hands (Pregnancy Center) has already got some, and we made quilts for each graduating senior (in the church). And a lot of people have come in just to get quilts that needed them. I just like to see the quilts used in this area rather then spending shipping to send them somewhere else, or gasoline to get them there."
The Sacred Heart women are among the many throughout the region who contribute to the Community Christmas Basket program in Worthington. Anyone, of course, can pitch in with cash donations (to be used for the purchase of food and gifts for children -- checks may be sent to Community Christmas Baskets, P.O. Box 552, Worthington 56187); canned or boxed non-perishable foods; new adult gifts such as warm clothing, gloves, scarves, socks and earmuffs for men and women, new mittens, gloves, caps, slippers and stockings for children; new toys for children and toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet soap and combs.
Donations may be dropped off at American Reformed Church, Worthington, from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 3. Baskets will be distributed starting at 10 a.m. Dec. 4.
Additionally, this year's Albs concerts will take place at 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Worthington's First United Methodist Church. The concert, which will take place for the 12th year, is the chief fundraiser for the Community Christmas Basket program, netting about $2,500 annually. Following the 7 p.m. performance, there will be fellowship and refreshments served.