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Local quilters donate, Brjen's blanket count rises

Brjen Jones' blanket drive received this quilt from the Peace Makers. The group meets in the basement of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Two Habrors and has made thousands of quilts since it began meeting in the 1980s. (Submitted photo).

Since the News-Chronicle published the story about Brjen Jones, the nine-year old Two Harbors boy who has been conducting a blanket drive for the homeless in the Arrowhead, cozy covers of all kinds have continued to pour into the Jones family living room. At the time the story went to press last week, 127 blankets had been collected. This week there were 203, with two more were on the way from a woman who read about the drive in the Duluth News-Tribune.

Also last week, a group of needle-artists from a Two Harbors made its contribution to the cause. The Peace Makers, who have been gathering for coffee, conversation and quilting since 1982, made and donated a handmade quilt - one of many they have made over the years, according to member, Dory Pearson.

Among the dozens of organizations that have received quilts made by the group are North Shore Horizons, Community Partners, Community Connect and the St. Luke's Cancer Center, where the handmade treasures are presented to patients as gifts "when they finish their last chemo treatment," Pearson said. With this history of reaching out to those in need of comfort, Peace Makers' donation to Brjen Jones blanket drive was an easy decision for the group.

"(We donated) because he was making the effort to help people at such a young age. So we wanted to help him," Pearson said. They selected a particular quilt because it seemed to be perfect for the purposes Jones intended.

"We chose one that was really soft and warm," Pearson said. "He said he wanted people to be warm, so we wanted to donate something soft and snuggly."

Peace Makers is made up of about 30 women, ranging in age from 50-98 years old. They meet in the basement of Emmanuel Lutheran Church on Tuesday mornings from Sept.-May and Pearson estimates that they have made thousands of quilts in their 31-year history. The group is always grateful for donations of fabric, notions and money to help them keep their hands busy and the comfy covers coming. In fact, most of their quilts are made using donated materials, said Pearson, although they purchase new batting.

Fabric donations can be taken directly at the church, where Pearson is secretary. Washable fabrics, like cottons, are especially welcome. Checks can be sent to the church as well, with a note in the memo designating the funds for the quilt group. Emmanuel Lutheran Church is located at 602 Fourth Avenue.

Brjen Jones will be collecting blankets through the end of April, so there's still time to contribute to warming a northland neighbor with a donation. Contact the Jones family at 834-5081.