Church group's quilts will comfort anxious kids
Powell police accept 13 quilts to hand out in tough situations
Daleen Dotson's grandchildren and their blankies are inseparable.
Considering the comfort they get from having those blankets by their sides, Dotson was certain which service project the quilters at Powell United Methodist Church would tackle next.
Last year, she contacted the Powell Police Department about making quilts that officers could carry in their cruisers and hand out to children in traumatic situations. On Monday, Oct. 21, Police Chief Gary Vest met with the quilters to collect the 13 colorful, handmade creations.
"They're very nicely done and each one is unique," Vest said. "I think they will be well-received."
Vest said his time with the force has shown him that items such as blankets or stuffed animals can ease a child's tension during a stressful or scary situation in which police presence is necessary.
"It can aid in that physical and psychological comfort," he said. "At the very least, it takes their mind off of whatever is immediately bothering them and can serve as a distraction for younger children."
Dotson, who moved with her husband to Powell from Athens three years ago to be closer to her grandchildren, said the church's service project was sparked by the Westerville Quilters Guild. She also is a member of that group, which has supplied the Genoa Police Department with quilts.
About a dozen quilters in the church's Connecting Threads group met the first Monday of each month for the last year to assemble the 20-by-24-foot quilts, some of which have western and children's-book themes.
Aside from making the children's quilts, Connecting Threads is responsible for quilting banners and decorations for the church, and the group often makes quilts for sick parishioners.
Those who sew are invited to join the group that's active in donating homemade pillow cases to ConKerr Cancer, which delivers the cases to children at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Although the quilters keep busy throughout the year, Dotson said the group would be happy to make more quilts -- she just hopes that won't be necessary.
"We're going to remind the officers that they're there, but, in a way, we'd rather not have them given out, because that would mean there hasn't been an accident or a tragedy," she said. "But we can always do more, because if it brings comfort to a little kid, then that is great."