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‘Painting with thread’

From left, Katherine Josephson, Lela Milo and Clarice Angelo browse the stuffed animals and quilts that the Silver City Kitties donated to Kitsap Community Resources for families and children who enter the emergency shelters. - Photo by Jesse Beals
From left, Katherine Josephson, Lela Milo and Clarice Angelo browse the stuffed animals and quilts that the Silver City Kitties donated to Kitsap Community Resources for families and children who enter the emergency shelters.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Sometimes, comfort can only come from being wrapped in a home-made quilt.

Thanks to the non-profit group Silver City Kitties, more than 30 stuffed animals and embroidered quilts were donated to Kitsap Community Resources emergency shelters, a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping people in need.

“We get together once a month to do free-motion machine embroidery,” said Silver City Kitties President Katherine Josephson with a smile. “It’s something we enjoy doing.”

There are a multitude of families who utilize KCR emergency shelters. Lela Milo, KCR family development specialist, said KCR is down from 12 emergency shelters and she has had to turn families away with children. Due to the hike in housing costs, Milo added that more families are staying in the shelter for the allotted 90 days.

“People come to the (emergency shelters) with nothing, so this means so much to them,” Milo told the Silver City Kitties who had assembled in the Eagle’s Nest on Tuesday.

Bright-colored plush teddy bears, puppies and kittens were stacked high on a table and multicolored quilts, made by the Silver City Kitties, with whimsical embroidered designs were folded alongside.

“We chose this charity because it’s something we can relate to,” Josephson said.

For the past four years, homemade quilts and stuffed animals have been donated to KCR by the Silver City Kitties. Each individual quilt, Josephson said, takes about six hours to complete. The Silverdale-based group is the local chapter of the Machine Embroiderers of Oregon and Washington.

“We get a reward out of making so little,” Josephson said as a smile spread across her face.

Clarice Angelo, plankowner of the Silver City Kitties, said once they started making and donating quilts to KCR four years ago, it brought the group so much joy that they have stuck with this organization ever since.

“What we wanted was for it to be local,” Angelo added with a smile. “We wanted to help needy people in the community ... we always want to do something to help children.”

With some families and children entering the KCR emergency shelters with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, a warm quilt and bright-colored stuffed animal can change their outlook on life.

“For us, it’s like painting with thread,” Josephson added with a smile. “And what a joy to put a smile on a child’s face.”

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