By Derek Gean (Leonard Wood)October 27, 2017
Members of the Survivor Outreach Services Coffee Group recently donated 18 homemade blankets and 10 stuffed animals to the Fort Leonard Wood Police Department to be given to children during emergency calls.
According to Jody Carmack, SOS support coordinator, Operation Bears and Blankets was designed to help survivors stay connected with the military community and to assist them on their grief journey.
"Through the years I have realized that part of this journey usually comes to a point where the survivor begins to want to give back or to help others," Carmack said. "This was a project any survivor could participate in, either find stuffed animals to donate or make one of the no-sew fleece blankets. The only skills the blankets required were using scissors and tying knots."
The group of military and retiree survivors purchased all the material for the projects.
Blankets were started during the Coffee Break gathering on Sept. 14 and the participants continued to make them at home. On Oct. 16, a group of members donated to the community.
Katrinka Good, a member of the group and project coordinator, said the hope was to provide the children with comfort during a difficult time.
"It is a good project for children who are needing a little bit of kindness in a tough situation and be embraced by someone who put a lot of love in this small token," Good said.
Group members embraced the project as a way to give to the community.
"It made me feel good to help out (and) to make some of the sweet children feel safe and loved. I like to help where I can when it is needed, especially when kids are involved," said Edith Fairchild, group member.
Carmack said group members have found a community project they love.
"The members of the Coffee Break group enjoyed this project so much they have asked to do this again in the spring," Carmack said.