Rosewood Miracle Workers Aktion Club asked and the community answered in a generous way for its annual blanket drive, conducted during the first quarter of 2021. The community drive ended at the end of March and members of Rosewood Aktion Club got to experience the satisfaction of distributing the blankets to three organizations headquartered in Great Bend.
In early April, club representatives delivered 187 blankets to Barton County Health Department, Family Crisis Center, and Live Like Jesus Today Ministries.
“We are ecstatic about the amazing support we received from our community blanket drive this year,” said Rosewood Aktion Club sponsor Frankie Pelster. “Because of the COVID pandemic, we had to skip this event last year, so our members were eager to get back at it. The community was so helpful, that we were able to donate to three agencies this year. Not only did people donate blankets, they gave monetarily, which helped us purchase more blankets, plus we had individuals and organizations make blankets for our cause. We can’t thank everyone enough for their contributions.”
The blankets were a welcomed donation to Family Crisis Center, 1924 Broadway Avenue, as blankets are given to every child within the organization that serves a 10-county area. Donations have been slow during the past year because of the pandemic, said Executive Director Joanne Wondra. She said the Rosewood Aktion Club’s donated blankets will be divided equally between the Domestic and Sexual Violence Program, and the Child Advocacy Program.
“These are blankets that we so desperately need right now, so we are so appreciative of each person who participated.” explained Wondra. “Donations have been slow this year, so we’ve been taking money out of our budgets to get blankets. For children, blankets are comfort. It could be 110 degrees outside and they might be curled up, snuggling with their blanket in their bed or in the living room.”
The Barton County Health Department, 1300 Kansas Avenue, follows Barton County mothers through their pregnancies and present parents with a blanket for their newborns. Because of their demand for blankets as gifts, those are always needed by the department, said Barton County Public Health Nurse Debra Higgins.
“This is definitely a community partnership,” said Higgins. “These blankets are so very important to us, and also to our new moms. We are so grateful for this act of kindness that your organization and the community has shown us. When we give the homemade blankets, we tell moms that the blankets are made with love.”
Live Like Jesus Today Ministries, 5619 8th Street and 700 S. Patton Road, opened only weeks before the COVID pandemic struck, but despite the challenges, has continued operating locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The ministry has taken mission teams to Trinidad and Tobago, and to Haiti and Jamaica, among other places. But its teams also stay regional, helping the homeless monthly in Wichita, and they help families locally within a 100-mile radius, explained Buzz Birney, executive director of Live Like Jesus Today Ministries.
“People who have nothing come to us and we try to help them with everything, so the blankets are given in those times,” said Birney. “Single moms with three or four children and they have no beds, blankets or anything; we just help them every way we can. We want people to know that they are cared for and loved by Jesus and that they are precious and special. To keep doing this work, it means so much to us to have the support like we’ve received by the Aktion Club. We’re a ministry that relies on partnerships to keep this going. We’re so thankful for this donation.”
Rosewood Aktion Club is an affiliate of the national Kiwanis organization that promotes service in action for people with developmental disabilities. The area club allows Rosewood members to be actively involved in the community and to positively impact the lives of others.