Jeff Clemetson | Editor
Local knitting group blankets the needy
Back in 2016, a social crafting group was formed at St. Therese Parish in Del Cerro to bring parishioners and other community members together to socialize. And because some members belonged to the church’s charity group, the group realized the creations crafted during weekly gatherings could be put to use for those in need.
Wrapped in Love, as the group now calls itself, gathers to chat, knit, crochet, sew and work on fleece blankets and other products, most of which end up donated to various charities around San Diego.
One such recipient is the new veterans center going up in the former Motel 6 building on Alvarado Canyon Road in Grantville.
“When we heard about the motel being converted for homeless vets, we contacted [Councilmember] Scott Sherman’s office. We asked for some more information. He told us these guys would be moving in probably in October,” shared Florence Helms, Wrapped in Love member and secretary of St. Therese Charities. “We said we wanted to do something.”
That something is 90 fleece blankets that the group churned out to donate to the veterans.
“We understand there will be 85 veterans so we made 90 blankets because we didn’t want the last one to not have a choice,” said Sharon Dilloway, who spearheaded the project for the veterans’ blankets. “Our veterans so often get ignored, neglected, unappreciated and we thought this is something we can do for them.”
At a media event Wrapped in Love held on Aug. 1 to highlight the completed blanket project, Councilmember Sherman thanked the group for its charitable work and for supporting the veterans center.
“So many times — especially with the homeless veterans center that’s opening up just down the way in Grantville — when we try to help the homeless and we try and open these facilities, people come in and say, ‘Yeah, we love the idea but just don’t let it be in my backyard.’ And you ladies aren’t doing that,” he said. “You’re being part of the solution instead of part of the problem.”
Although the blanket project is the first to garner Wrapped in Love a lot of attention from the media, the group has been donating its work since the beginning — and not just blankets. Wrapped in Love has knitted and crocheted hats and booties for infants, scarves and hats for adults, lap quilts and more. Recipients of the handmade products include Ronald McDonald House, The Salvation Army Door of Hope, Catholic Charities Immigration Services, The Trinitarian Sisters Orphanage in Tecate and The Alpha Project Tent City.
“Right now, these baby blankets we’re making today are going to Balboa Naval Hospital because they give care packages to newborns and they take them home,” said St. Therese Charities President JoAnn Rossi. “We’ll also be doing some lap blankets for adults that are in other programs there at the hospital.”
Even though giving is the main reason for Wrapped in Love members make the various craft projects, not every item is given away to a charity group.
“Some of the people that are coming up here each week are making things for themselves, which is OK,” Helms said, adding that all the fabric and materials for the various projects are either purchased through St. Therese Charities donations or by the group members themselves.
Wrapped in Love has around 20 members and is open to anyone from the community and meets every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon in the St. Therese Social Center. For more information, or to inquire about future meeting or projects, call St. Therese Catholic Parish at 619-582-3716.
— Reach Jeff Clemetson at email@example.com.