Monday, July 26, 2010

Blankets sewn, donated to accompany babies to final resting place

From Arizona (sad and sweet)

Inside a cool mess hall in a Sun City West church, Judy Purdy pins fabric to a giant piece of batting.

Bent over a kitchen counter, she peers through stylish bifocals into the room filled with ladies gathered to make small blankets and pillows to comfort children in need. The group, Helping Hands for Children in Crisis, donates the blankets to hospitals, shelters and crisis centers to console abused and mistreated children.

Other blankets accompany babies to their final resting place.

Each year, the women donate dozens of blankets they have made to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office.

The morgue tucks a blanket into each body bag of babies who pass through its offices. Some of the babies have been abandoned or unidentified, their bodies buried in unmarked county graves near the White Tank Mountains. Others are laid to rest by family.

But all leave the morgue with an "angel blanket," a small square blanket with a bow and silver angel charm.

"We send them away with dignity and love," said Purdy, a mother and grandmother from Sun City Grand. "When I'm done, I kiss every one to give it some love. I've always had a love for children. These blankets are made for little angels."

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