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Good deed therapy

Maris Grove blanket circle helps children in need

Created date

May 22nd, 2012

For Maris Grove s blanket circle, benevolence and business go hand in hand. A chapter of Project Linus, the mission of this circle of friendship at the Erickson Living community in Glen Mills, Pa., is making and distributing blankets to provide warmth, comfort, and love to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need.

Easy way to get involved

Frankie Moses, who coordinated a Project Linus chapter when she lived in Florida, started and co-coordinates Maris Grove s 115-member group. The blanket circle gives more than 800 crochet-trimmed fleece blankets a year to area schools that serve special needs children. It gives handmade afghans and toys to hospitalized children. Support from the administration is an important part of this, Frankie says.Maris Grovestaff helps with the group s annual luncheon, and Executive Director Maureen Heckler allocates twice-a-year use of the community s tour coach for blanket deliveries. Blanket circle members work in the comfort of their maintenance-free apartment homes but gather and socialize at weekly meetings and knitting and crochet workshops on campus. Membership will likely grow this summer when Maris Grove s Eagle Pointe neighborhood opens and scores of new residents begin enjoying the Erickson Living lifestyle. Our meetings and workshops are especially good for people who have just moved here, says co-coordinator Pat Borjes. They re an easy way to get involved and make friends. There s so much more to this than making blankets, Frankie adds. There s also a spiritual component. Recipients and blanket-makers alike benefit from the work of members talented hands. As Frankie tells the group, When your talents intersect with a need, you have met your purpose in life.

Efficient office and quiet retreat

Because each blanket costs $10 to make, the blanket circle requires an $8,000 budget. So Frankie operates it like a business. We don t charge dues or for materials, so we need a source of income, says Pat. Some of the funding comes from sales of rainbow-hued ruffle ribbon scarves made by members. Frankie s home office functions as business headquarters; the second bedroom of her spacious Hawthorne apartment home provides ample room for her office equipment and also comfortably accommodates a sofa bed for overnight guests. (Turn to the back page to see a full view of the Hawthorne floor plan.)

Easy, convenient lifestyle

As a working woman, she takes full advantage of the ways Maris Grove makes life easy for those who call it home. Should she encounter plumbing or appliance problems, one phone call brings quick repairs at no charge from Maris Grove s professional maintenance staff. Maris Grove s meal plans ensure she never has to cook dinner unless she wants to, and on super-busy days she gets her evening meal to go from one of Maris Grove s restaurants and enjoys it at home. Afterward, crochet hook in hand, she settles in her great room. When you finally sit down in your very special chair and put your feet up, your whole body relaxes, Frankie says. Then when your hands can do something, it s therapy. And when what you re doing is a good deed, that s God s work.