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Homespun Quilt Club donates quilts to Wadena Human Services

The club donated about 22 quilts to human services on Wednesday, Jan. 18. Human services will distribute the quilts as needed.

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Quilts are donated to Wadena County Human Services on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. Pictured are quilters (front row, from left): Sandie Rentz, Cheryl Kellen, Annita Trana, Joanne Lynk and Barb Thoennes. Also pictured are human services employees (back row, from left): Madi Lausten, Emily Gallmeier, Amelia Hutson, Nick Rousslang and Karen Johnson.
Britanie Rentz / Wadena Pioneer Journal
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WADENA — Minnesota winters are undoubtedly harsh, and not everyone has the means to stay warm through the frigid winter months.

The Homespun Quilt Club recognizes that fact and donated about 22 handmade quilts to Wadena County Human Services on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

The colorful quilts were specifically made for children, quilt club member LeAnn Evans said.

“We had two work days back this summer where we started them and pretty much got them finished,” Evans said. The quilts took about six months to complete, with some additional finishing touches done in December.

Bobbe Anderson, human services child protection supervisor, said the quilts are beautiful and will be distributed as needed.

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“Obviously we work with several families, so we’re always looking. I think that there’s never an issue of being able to find appropriate uses of them, it’s just … it’s just the timing of it and the immediate need,” Anderson said.

The quilts are sent with children when they’re placed in a new foster home or distributed if a family loses their home in a fire, to cite two examples.

But the quilts do more than just keep children warm.

“The kids that we work with — I mean blankets are a wonderful way for them to feel warm, and warmth often means that you’re safe. So it’s just a great resource for us to have for these kids,” Anderson said.

The Homespun Quilt Club consists of about 10 members, all of whom contributed to the quilts that were donated on Jan. 18.

Evans said the group typically donates quilts once they’ve stockpiled enough. The group also has some reserve quilts in case someone loses their home to a natural disaster, fire or other events.

In the past, the group has donated quilts to human services, the Wadena Police Department and area veterans, among other groups and individuals.

Quilt club member Cheryl Kellen said the club makes sure to donate quilts to local veterans every Veterans Day.

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“This time around we decided to quilts for kids. We’re always looking for service projects, we love to sew and we want to give back to the community,” Kellen said.

Kellen and Evans started the group in 1997.

“We don’t want kudos or anything like that, we just want people to know that we’re doing things for the community and the children,” Evans said.

Kellen noted the group is always looking for new members. The group’s monthly meetings not only serve as a time to socialize, but a time to learn new skills and contribute to the community.

“We’re pretty casual, pretty laid back, but the more hands, the more we can do,” Kellen said.

Anderson applauded the group’s most recent contribution to the community.

“It’s amazing. I think when you live in a small community, and you have these resources, it’s so cool to see how it all comes together. When we give these quilts to kids, and/or to families, it’s really cool to see their reaction,” she said.

Those interested in joining the Homespun Quilt Club can contact Kellen at 701-412-5993 or ckellen@arvig.net.

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