Comfort Quilters

The St. Maries Comfort Quilters prepare their fabric room for their quilting party on Jan. 15 and 16. The group will make quilts for children who have to stay overnight at Benewah Community Hospital. Pictured, left to right are Margie Bentcik, Jill Carpenter, Ginny Gaines, Sue Stapleton and Karen Thurston. 

The St. Maries community has nimble fingers and big hearts.

Community members will gather under the name St. Maries Comfort Quilters to make quilts for children at Benewah Community Hospital.

The group meets each January to quilt a bulk amount of blankets to be given out by hospital staff throughout the year.

Children under the age of 12 who have been hospitalized and have had to stay over-night or visits the emergency room are eligible to receive one of the quilts.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church member, Ginny Gaines, said that the inspiration for starting the group was when her daughter had to be hospitalized and received a blanket.

“It started when my granddaughter was 2 and was put in the hospital for over a week. She was given a blanket and stuffed animal,” Ms. Gaines said. “Years later I went to her home and noticed she still has the blanket.”

Ms. Gaines said that the blanket and the experience had stuck with her granddaughter, saying the blanket added a bit of comfort while she was in the hospital.

“She said that she kept the blanket because she would never forget that experience and she remembered being so afraid,” Ms. Gaines said.

Ms. Gaines said that she wanted to provide that comfort for local kids and she started getting neighbors and friends together who where in to quilting.

“We started off making about 30 quilts for the hospital,” Ms. Gaines said. “We've now gotten to the point where we make about 70 to 90 blankets to supply the hospital throughout the year. We want to make sure that they have enough for children who have to visit the emergency room.”

Ms. Gaines said she now has a consistent large group of volunteers that show up every year to help quilt. The larger amount of volunteers and donations have made making the bulk amount of quilts in just a few days a much easier task.

Ms. Gaines also said that those who want to support their cause but are not into sewing can instead donate fabric and other supplies if able.

Those who wish to volunteer are asked to meet at the St. Paul's Lutheran Church basement on Jan. 15 and 16. The group will be working from 9 a.m. To 4 p.m on each of the days. Snacks and beverages will be provided to those who attend.

For more information or to learn how you can donate materials contact the St. Paul's Lutheran Church at 208-245-5420.

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