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Quilting for a cause

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SQUARE:The group now useshigh-quality donated fabrics for their materials.
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PLANNING: The next such event will be Tuesday, Dec. 3.
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QUILT:Since February 2013 a small band of dedicated people have made almost 150 quilts for the Lighthouse Mission.
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SUPPLIES:The group hasa potluck lunch the first Tuesday of each month to sew and get fabrics organized.

by Rob Burgess - rburgess@wabashplaindealer.com

Jenny Ritzema, director of the Lighthouse Mission of Wabash County, has seen people at their lowest moments.

She said at times like that, they try to make sure those people have supplies to restart their lives.

“We constantly have homeless and people that are maybe recovering from a fire. Sometimes domestic violence. Like a mom has moved out and has nothing,” she said. “We weekly have people like that and sometimes we have people that are getting on their feet.”

Standing Tuesday at the Winchester Senior Center, Ritzema said just that day a couple had arrived on their doorstep who just getting sober.

“They’re trying to get an apartment,” she said. “We hand out all kinds of hygiene. We (give) food if we have some. Clothes.”

And then there are the specially-made blankets.

“It just makes them feel like they have something special. It was handmade. How cool is that? And kind of gives them a new energy to get going on their own,” she said.

That’s where Carolyn Kellam comes in. Since February 2013 she and a small band of dedicated people have made almost 150 quilts for the Mission.

Kellam said they have a potluck lunch the first Tuesday of each month to sew and get fabrics organized. She said it always lasts from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and that the next such event would be Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Kellam said when they first started working with the Mission, the fabric squares were made from un-sellable sweatshirts that had been ripped or stained. She said they have since moved on to higher-quality donated fabrics for their materials.

“It’s kind of just gotten to be a group of 10 or 12 of us that come together every other month. And people hear about it and people hear about it and they bring in their fabrics,” she said. “It’s amazing how creative they were.”