Handmade Gifts of Warmth

TAYLOR, Pa. -- Residents of a nursing home in Lackawanna County are a little warmer after a special Christmas delivery on Thursday.

A couple from Taylor gathered a group of volunteers to hand-make blankets to give as Christmas presents -- 168 of them.

It's the end of a Christmas mission for Irene Stinson and her husband Dave, delivering dozens of handmade blankets to Riverside Rehabilitation Center in Taylor. Irene used to work there and saw a need.

"I know how lonely some of the people get and I know some of them don't have anyone, so they have me," Irene Stinson said.

For eight years now, Irene has personally been making blankets and assembling a team of volunteers to do the same. One woman made 80 of them.

"She started in July, that's when we started and she just kept going. In fact, she's still crocheting."

Katie Rogers heard Irene needed some help

"She was really determined to get blankets for every single resident," Rogers said.

That's 168 blankets.

"She was telling me about all this and how she was really nervous and I thought, 'well, I have an old gift card for Joann (Fabrics) so I ran up to the store and then I started making blankets to help her out," said Rogers.

So, bag after bag of blankets came in, along with boxes filled with gift bags of personal care items and socks.

And the appreciation was clear to see.

"As much as we try to do in this building, having gifts coming in from folks to them is wonderful. They just enjoy it. It lifts their spirits. It makes the time very special," said administrator Linda Stumpf.

"To see so much joy that is brought to them from the outside community is such a beautiful thing for our residents. It's what the meaning of Christmas is all about," outreach director Jeanne Phillips added.

Many volunteers, organizations, and businesses donated to make this handmade blanket drive and all the other gifts a possibility.

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