GREENFIELD, Ind. – Officer from the Greenfield Police Department are now equipped with a new tool to comfort children they encounter while responding to calls. Around 40 quilts were donated to the department thanks to the efforts of volunteers.
The quilts will be handed out to children involved in car crashes or whose parents have committed a crime.
"We’re always looking for an edge to try to comfort that child that’s witnessed something they’ve never seen before or should never see again," said Capt. Brian Guinn. "By having the blankets, that will help bridge the gap between us and the child."
The concept of making quilts to give to children facing trauma has been the focus of a group of women known as the Bag Lady Quilters. They meet at a church and work in an assembly line style to make up to 50 quilts in one day.
"Just give them something they could hold onto," said member Sheila Baker about the quilts for kids. "Maybe it will make them feel a little safer."
They started out providing the quilts to their local Department of Child Services office to give to foster children. While the Bag Lady Quilters never get to see the impact their quilts make, they say they can feel it.
"I love it, I love it," Baker said. "I never see the quilts given to the child but I just know in my heart they’re helping."
Word of the ladies' efforts reached a teacher from East Hancock Elementary and spurred a project for fourth grade students there.
"This has grown so much," said Baker.
The students made 100 quilts and then called Baker to come pick them up. Baker then donated the quilts to the police department.
She made sure each quilt came with a personal message for the child who receives it. The note attached to every quilt says: "This 'comfort quilt' was made for you. Wrap it around you whenever you feel alone, scared or sad. It is filled with hugs from people who care about you."
Police say they hope to continue this partnership with the volunteers to ensure they have quilts for children in the months to come.
"Everything that we can do positive for the child is great," Guinn said.