The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

June 14, 2013

Local woman, group to make blankets for homeless shelter

ENID, Okla. — Tamara White has embarked on a mission to make sure residents of Hope Outreach’s future overnight homeless shelter will sleep warm in their beds.

Gathering her friends and acquaintances to pitch in, White plans to make 100 fleece blankets for the shelter, which is Hope Outreach’s next major project.

It’s work White has done before.

“About 10 years ago, I started small groups on making blankets for various organizations in Enid,” White said. “My Sunday School class at First Baptist Church and my two previous places of employment — Nicholas Real Estate and Wymer-Brownlee Tax and Financial Management — are the groups that I started with and have also organized a small group of students at Oklahoma Bible Academy, where both of my sons attend school, to make a few blankets.”

Through their efforts, blankets were given to the YWCA Shelter and Daycare, the Children’s Advocacy House, Cimarron Chapter of American Red Cross and local nursing homes.

“We would also give some of the blankets to the Adopt-a-Family projects at Christmastime,” White said.

It’s at the Garfield County District Attorney’s office, where she currently works, that White sees most need. She said she wants to bring care, comfort and compassion to those in need by making and giving fleece blankets.

When she read a story in the Enid News & Eagle about Matt Lohmann’s presentation about the agency’s plan to open an overnight shelter, she especially liked the Bridge to Life Program that will be part of the shelter’s mission.

White decided to get involved and help.

“I contacted a couple of friends about my idea to see if they were willing to help me organize and keep this idea going,” White said. “Of course, they were. Matt Lohmann met with us, and I told him of our plans to have 100 blankets made by the time the shelter opens.”

The group, Fleece Friends, already held its first blanket-making session earlier this month.

Future blanket-making sessions will be held in July and August.

White said it takes about two and a half yards of fleece to make a blanket to cover a bed. Participants donate the fleece for one blanket; White is donating the fleece for many blankets, and the group will accept donations of fleece from anyone who wants to contribute but cannot show up to help.

The next work sessions will be 8:30 a.m. July 13 at Oakwood Activity Center, 401 N. Oakwood, and 10 a.m. Aug. 17 at The Grace Place, located behind Hobby Lobby.

Fleece Friends is not an official nonprofit organization.

If someone wants to donate and take a tax deduction, they can make a donation designated for Fleece Friends through Hope Outreach, 215 S. Van Buren.

For more information, call White at (580) 548-2414.

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