LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Laurel Countians lucky enough to know about Paula’s Quilting Pantry in East Bernstadt already know how warm, inviting and welcoming visiting it can be. What many don’t know, however, is that the second Tuesday of every month at Paula’s is dedicated wholeheartedly to charity.
The Laurel County Chapter of Project Linus meets at Paula’s Quilting Pantry the second Tuesday of every month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., crafting and collecting blankets for local children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies, and children directly affected by natural disasters.
“We all just get together and talk, sew, have lunch, and sew some more,” said Paula Philpot, owner of Paula’s Quilting Pantry. “We usually make about a dozen blankets in one day’s time.”
The Laurel County Chapter also receives plenty of blankets from outside donators. A total of five blankets had already been brought to the Quilting Pantry by noon on Tuesday.
“There’s a lady from Virginia who will mail at least a box full every month,” Philpot said. “She makes them herself on her way to work on the train every day.”
Paula’s Quilting Pantry is an more than 100 year-old farmhouse in East Bernstadt. While the whole building has been remodeled to sell general sewing supplies, a large tranquil room is set aside for sewing. A corner of the room has been taken over by Project Linus, where multitudes of blankets and fabric have been stacked up, waiting to be sent out.
Chapter director Patricia Klink contacted Philpot about Project Linus more than five years ago. Until that point, Klink had been a normal customer. When asked, Philpot agreed without question.
“Some of these kids are all traumatized — be it from a fire, abuse, or other home situations — and these blankets are a means of comfort,” Philpot said. “Just knowing that you’re helping children in need makes it all worth our time.”
Volunteers Lil Burns and Debbie Taylor echoed Philpot’s sentiments.
“Most children have a blanket or want a blanket for one reason: comfort,” said Burns. “It’s a way to give back. I’ve personally been so blessed in my life, and this is a good way to give back. It’s a ‘pay it forward’ kind of thing.”
“It’s gratifying to help – you don’t know who you’re making it for, but someone is going to benefit from it,” said Taylor
Project Linus in Laurel County is possible through various fundraisers throughout the year. The Mountain Laurel Quilters — a club with the UK Cooperative Extension Service — does an auction during their spring and fall sewing retreats at Jabez. The auctions — which include gently-loved sewing supplies primarily — have granted Project Linus $800 to $1,200 in the past.
For more information on the Laurel County Chapter of Project Linus, call Patricia Klink at (606) 657-1282 or call Paula’s Quilting Factory at (606) 231-3543 or (606) 843-7839. More information can also be found at www.projectlinus.org or www.mountainlaurelquiltersclub.org.