Providing warmth will make a difference

WARREN — Every year for the past 14 years, the Domestic Sewing Center, 2011 Youngstown Road SE, has collected blankets and quilts for seriously ill children at local hospitals for Make A Difference Day.

Volunteers also get together every other week — the first and third Tuesdays at 10 a.m. — to make blankets and quilts and the business accepts donations of yarn, fabric and batting to make the project possible.

“We have a very big need for yarn. We don’t like idle hands,” manager Linda Fabrizio said. “These blankets stay local, mostly to Akron Children’s Hospital in Boardman, but some to St. Joseph in Warren.”

Fabrizio said Domestic Sewing Center’s affiliation with the national organization Blankets of Love is a year-round effort, but they do an extra push for Make A Difference Day.

“We always get extra donations for Make A Difference Day and it is much appreciated,” she said.

She estimated the business has donated thousands of blankets to the hospitals over the years because she keeps track of the monthly haul and it’s usually around 100.

Make A Difference Day, sponsored by the Tribune Chronicle, is a day where local volunteers give of themselves to improve their communities. It is in its 15th year and is set for Oct. 28, with registration forms due Oct. 13.

Providing comfort and warmth also is the project of choice for Girl Scout Troop 80598, which meets at the Odd Fellows Building in downtown Warren. The troop is headed by Barb Rosenblum, who said the troop, which consists of girls in sixth grade through high school, has been making blankets for the homeless and needy in Warren for the past six years.

“Last year, we made 142. So this year’s goal is 143,” Rosenblum said with a laugh.

She said the first year the troop participated in Make A Difference Day, the girls made 70 blankets. The blankets are taken to the Emmanuel Lutheran coat closet for distribution and some end up at nursing homes for patients who have no family members.

“Last year, the woman who runs the coat closet told the girls a story about a woman at the nursing home who received one of their blankets. She carried the blanket everywhere for three years and she requested to be buried with it. She died last year and she was buried with the blanket the girls made. It is stories like that that make the girls want to continue doing this project,” Rosenblum said.

She said some people donate blankets to the troop in addition to the ones they make.

The Fifth Wheel Club is collecting blankets for the Warren Family Mission. Coordinator Mary Bertuzzi said the club started out as the Warren Welcome Wagon years ago and has 40 members. They meet monthly and have speakers and perform service projects.

“We have been participating in Make A Difference Day for eight years. We used to help at the Second Harvest Food Bank, but some of our older members couldn’t do that anymore, so last year, we started collecting blankets and making blankets and donating them to the Warren Family Mission. We donated more than 50 blankets last year,” Bertuzzi said.

For information on donating, call Bertuzzi at 330-394-8332.

Michelle Miller of Warren is collecting blankets, gloves and hats for the homeless. She said she will take the collection to the St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen for distribution. She said this is the first year she has participated in Make A Difference Day and thought the collection would be an easy way for her to contribute.

She has a collection bin outside her house at 1090 Meadowbrook Ave. SE in Warren for people to put things in, but she will be collecting noon to 3 p.m. on Make A Difference Day, Oct. 28.

Neighborhood Pride is collecting winter clothing items for the needy. A collection box will be set up at the Warren Township Fire Department, 4750 W. Market St., 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 26, 27 and 28.

Quilts from the Heart will make blankets, quilts and pillow cases for patients at Akron Children’s Hospital in Boardman and St. Joseph Warren Hospital, as well as lap robes for residents at area nursing homes.

Quilts from the Heart will be helped by volunteers from New Jerusalem Fellowship Church in Warren and members of Girl Scout Troop 8009 of Hartford.