The fabric of community
Warm Up America donates blankets, other knit items to those in need
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — “Warm Up America was started by a woman in Wausau,” explained Jane Chapel. “She had her own yarn shop, and she felt, ‘What a wonderful thing it could be if people would knit a block, hand it in, and they become beautiful afghans to hand out.’”
That small act of kindness started in 1991 by Evie Rosen grew into a nationwide movement to distribute afghans to needing individuals and has found a home in Marshfield.
“The Marshfield Clinic Crafters started in September 2005,” added Chapel. “We started (making) blankets in 2006.”
The group works all year to prepare and piece together 7-by-9-inch rectangular blocks into afghans to be given out locally and as part of Warm Up America charitable giving.
“We have over 100 members,” said Chapel. “They do not all reside in Marshfield. Some of the outreach facilities have members.”
In addition to the blankets, the group puts together caps for oncology patients; shawls; lap-ghans, afghans for the lap; and afghans benefiting homeless shelters, the Hannah Center, Shirley’s House of Hope, St. Vincent de Paul, and other charitable organizations.
“The Marshfield Clinic Crafters meet twice a month: the first Thursday and the third Monday,” said Chapel. “We knit and crochet. (They are our) therapy sessions.”
The group invites those outside of Marshfield Clinic staff to become a part of the movement.
“It’s not just the Marshfield Clinic Crafters. It’s the community, whoever has some yarn and can knit or crochet. Put them together, and drop them off at Janet’s, and the Marshfield Clinic Crafters will put them together,” Chapel said.
“It’s a community project for everyone that wants to get involved,” added Mary McCombie.
The Marshfield Clinic Crafters welcome donations of 7-by-9-inch rectangular blocks or full afghans from the community. Donations may be dropped off at Janet’s Yarns & Crafts at 355 S. Central Ave., Marshfield.
For more information on the Marshfield Clinic Crafters, contact Jane Chapel at 715-305-3297. For more information on Warm Up America, visit warmupamerica.org.