Edmond retirement community members make blankets for homeless children

The ‘Knotty Ladies Cutting Up’ at Touchmark at Coffee Creek have delivered 17 handmade fleece blankets to Positive Tomorrows, a school serving homeless children.
By Dawn Shelton, For The Oklahoman Published: June 21, 2014

The Knotty Ladies at Edmond’s Touchmark at Coffee Creek retirement community have been cutting up – all to benefit children at Positive Tomorrows. Positive Tomorrows is the only elementary school in Oklahoma specifically serving homeless children and their families.

The Knotty Ladies Cutting Up – yes, that’s the name of an informal group of Touchmark residents – so far have delivered 17 handmade fleece blankets to Positive Tomorrows.

Organized by resident Louise Haaland, the Knotty Ladies make the 36- by 54-inch “Comfy Blankets” by knotting two pieces of fleece material together.

Up to 17 women participate in this ongoing volunteer mission. Haaland said they learned about Positive Tomorrows from an Oklahoma City businessman.

According to Haaland, the group could also make lap blankets for elderly people.

“We understand there is a huge need,” she said. “The blankets are big enough that children can wrap their arms around and take comfort in the soft warmth, and that’s why we call them Comfy Blankets.”

The group has generated funds for supplies through various activities and has received some donations, as well.

The psychosocial and mental health benefits of volunteering have been studied for several years in regard to reducing risk factors for depression, loneliness and isolation. Now, though, there are known physical health benefits.

In 2013, Carnegie Mellon University researchers looked at the relationship between volunteerism and lower blood pressure. They discovered that as little as 200 hours of volunteering annually provided a dramatic lowering of blood pressure.