By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Daily Republican
Melissa Irwin, Charlotte Kennedy, and Serenity Brockman are pleased with the yarn donated by the 4-H to assist in the Lapghans for Veterans project.


Sgt. P’s Lapghans for Veterans group works year-round in knitting, crocheting, or sewing wheelchair-friendly afghans and blankets for veterans in Boone and surrounding counties in Illinois and Wisconsin.

On Wednesday, May 16, 4-H-er Serenity Brockman presented a box filled with skeins of yarn to Charlotte Kennedy, founder of Sgt. P’s Lapghans for Veterans non-profit organization.

“We’ve done it in the past,” said Brockman of 4-H, “It’s a good thing to collect yarn to give to the veterans. We are doing something to give back to them. They have done so much for us. Whenever I see the veterans’ service hats, I always thank them.”

“Part of the 4-H Pledge says ‘hands to larger service’…” said Melissa Irwin, 4-H Program Coordinator. “We give the kids opportunities to do community service. They learn empathy for others and learn to do things for other people.”

“The 4-H Club has been a tremendous help in the past,” said Charlotte Kennedy of Sgt. P’s Lapghans. They have helped with our clothing drive with lots of coats. We will be doing another winter clothing drive for the Rockford Stand Down on Friday, Oct. 26. We are looking for coats, hats, scarves, and gloves for homeless veterans and their children. Perhaps collection boxes for the clothing and/or the yarn can be placed in schools next year.

“We do three Stand Down events every year – in Rockford and Freeport in the fall and in McHenry County in March. We also take around 200 lapghans, afghans, and blankets to these events. We give them all away.

“The veterans love the items they receive from us. They are made in the USA and handmade with love, gratitude, and appreciation for their dedication and service.”

“Just to know that someone cares is huge,” Irwin said.

“Anyone who would like to help knit, crochet, or sew to help veterans can call me at 815-765-1172,” said Kennedy. “We are also looking for a good grant writer to help our non-profit organization get funding for the yarns and materials we need.”

“The veterans aren’t greedy,” she said. “If they received a blanket last year, they will not take another one this year. They may opt for a hat or…

For full article, pick up the May 27 BDR.

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