CRANFORD, NJ — On Saturday, Feb. 11, Cranford United Methodist Church invited members of the community to help them make blankets at Cranford Community Center. The blankets are donated to variety of organizations. This year, the blankets will go to a domestic violence shelter in Elizabeth. The event coordinator was Holly Walker, who ordered the fleece which was used to create the blankets.
“We had about 1,000 people helping today,” Anne Caldwell of Cranford told LocalSource in an interview on Feb. 11. “About 40 of them were teenagers. It’s an intergenerational event. Most of the people were church members, but other people from the community came to help also.’
The event consisted of cutting and tying two pieces of fleece to create a blanket. Two pieces of fleece were placed back to back and fringes were cut around the borders which were tied together to make a blanket.
“We pick various people who could use them,” Caldwell said. “This year, we’re donating them to victims of domestic violence. During previous years, we donated them to nursing homes, overseas and various other groups.”
In addition to the domestic violence shelter, two groups of people from the church take blankets to the Jersey Shore to people who lost their homes due to Hurricane Sandy.
“We’ve held this event for the past 14 years,” Caldwell said. “The blankets are very easy to make.”
Each blanket takes about a half an hour to make, and people worked together to make sure each blanket was complete. Participants were even willing to take their work home to finish it if necessary. Fortunately, they had so much help at the event that they finished most of the work early. It also gave participants a chance to socialize with each other.
“I participate in this event every year,” Sue VanGorden of Linden told LocalSource in an interview on Feb. 11. “I find it very rewarding and educational. I learned how to make these blankets and I have them all over my house. I even made some to give to my family members.”
This event is held annually, and it is one of the many ways the church works to give back to the community and spread a message of love and warmth to everyone, especially those who are in need of it the most.
“This is a great event that helps us convey love to others,” Pastor Cameron Overbey of Cranford Methodist Church told LocalSource in an interview on Feb. 11. “It also supplies them with literal warmth. All the places they go help us form relationships outside the walls of the church.”