Dozens of seriously ill children will be sleeping a little better at night this spring, thanks to the help of a group of blanket makers at First Community Village.

Dozens of seriously ill children will be sleeping a little better at night this spring, thanks to the help of a group of blanket makers at First Community Village.

For several months, a group of ladies at the senior living campus have been getting together weekly to work on blankets and quilts that are given to children at Flying Horse Farms, a summer camp in Mt. Gilead for children with serious illnesses.

"We've had at least 10 residents get involved," said Fran Welsh, FCV's life enrichment director. "Some of our residents are in Florida for the winter, so I think we may have more get involved.

"The ladies have gotten very efficient at it," she said.

A member of the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps, which was founded in 1988 by Paul Newman, Flying Horse Farms is gearing up to host only its second summer camp in Mt. Gilead, said Reagan Walsh, director of marketing and communications.

"Last summer was our first season, and we hosted about 400 children," Walsh said. "This summer we're looking to double that.

"We have had an incredible amount of community groups that help Flying Horse Farms, whether they're Kiwanis clubs or even kids that host fundraisers."

Young children who suffer from heart or kidney disease, arthritis, asthma, cancer and other illnesses are welcomed to Flying Horse Farms in the summer month to take part in the typical summer camp experience, Walsh said. Physicians and staff from area hospitals are on hand at all times, and activities are designed to ensure that each child can be involved, regardless of his or her medical condition.

Welsh said the group at FCV has made at least 30 blankets for the children, with many more in the works. But it's not just the children at the camp who benefit from the exercise, she said.

"There are all kinds of benefits for a project like this," she said. "Of course, it benefits the kids and the staff at the camp, and hopefully it's something that will make the kids feel cozy. But the group we've created has just grown and grown, and the residents are getting to know one another better. It's created a huge amount of good will in that particular group.

"Giving and volunteering is always uplifting," Welsh said, "and with this group in particular, some of the seniors who may have dropped out of a lot of the volunteering efforts they used to do, here is a way at the village that they can continue to give back."

Walsh said that in addition to FCV, Flying Horse Farms has benefited from many volunteers in Upper Arlington.

"We're certainly getting a good start thanks to the women at First Community Village and volunteers in Upper Arlington," she said. "As a statewide organization we pride ourselves on the fact that everyone can do a part, and it doesn't have to be through monetary donations. We've had kids from UA host birthday parties, and instead of asking for presents they've had friends bring supplies for the camp. Windermere (Elementary School) students hosted a Halloween costume drive last year, which we use now for our costume closet at camp. There truly are at least 300 examples of how the community has gotten involved in our work."

More information on the summer camp can be found online at http://flyinghorsefarms.org.