By MIKE HUGHES, Prime Times ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Carol Kovachic from the Belmont County Extension Office recently approached members of the St. Clairsville Senior Center about assisting a young mother and her soon to be born child. Kovachic was familiar with the center’s Blanket Brigade, which provides hand-made blankets to various local agencies. But the center members wanted to take their assistance a step further. ‘‘Carol came over and wanted to purchase our blankets,’’ said Daisy Braun, center director in St. Clairsville. ‘‘We didn’t know the mother but we decided this was a family in need and we were going to adopt this baby and help how we could.’’ The call went out to center members and everyone came up with some sort of item or assistance to add. Naturally, blankets were made for the soon-to-be-born little girl. But members also purchased a number of outfits, diapers and even a pack-and-play. They wanted to give the child and her mother the best start that they could. ‘‘We donated everything the baby would need for probably the first two months of her life,’’ Braun said. ‘‘We kind of got carried away. We bought clothes of all different sizes, I think up to 9 months. ‘‘We bought some things for the mother as well.’’ The baby was recently delivered and Braun was happy to report she was a happy, healthy baby. She was also pleased that Tuesday, mother and child stopped by the senior center to pay a visit to their generous benefactors. The Blanket Brigade has been in operation at the center for five years. Sheila Lokosky, who runs the program, says it began when the center members felt they needed a project to give back to the community. Roughly 15-20 members get together once a month and work on the blankets, although Lokosky admits that more than a few members take the blankets home to continue creating them. Most of the blankets are tied fleece, but some have been quilted, including raggedy quilt patterns. The center donates consistently to five local organizations: Miracle of Life, Help Me Grow, the Florence Crittendon Home, the Oak View Boys Home and New Horizon. ‘‘Our main concern is children from newborns up to 18,’’ she said. ‘‘We make the throughout the year and as soon as we have enough to distribute to all five locations, we make the delivery, usually about 3-4 times per year with around 10 blankets apiece. ‘‘But whenever need comes in, just give us a call and we can make a blanket, whether its for a child, or a terminally ill or cancer patient.’’ Hughes may be reached at email@example.com
THE ST. CLAIRSVILLE Senior Center participated in a community outreach project to help a newborn in need recently. From left, are Kathryn Kozlowski, Ruth Beck, Jean McMahon, Carol Kovachic, Rosalie Harris, Shirley Androsko and Jo Marshall.