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Tyler seniors crochet blankets to give veterans for Christmas

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 9:29 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 3, 2021 at 11:29 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - When Santa Claus gets busy ahead of Christmas, his helpers begin to show up in our own communities to respond to needs.

This year in Tyler there’s a group of ladies at Atria Willow Park Senior Living who are crocheting blankets to give to veterans for Christmas.

Charlotte Greely is a resident who leads the Friday morning crocheting classes and offers encouragement to the women who show up. Greely’s husband had a 23-year career in the Navy. She wanted to do something to give back and carry on his legacy.

“I’d be sitting there and burning the midnight oil and he’d come out and talk to me and tell me how good it was,” she said. “So part of me died with him. I just couldn’t pick up the hook again until here. Then I saw a need for it.”

In July Greely asked if there was any interest in getting a crocheting group together to get blankets made for veterans at Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home and deliver them during Christmas week.

“They came out of the woodwork. You can see what we’ve done, this is not just me. These are all these women and I’m so proud of them,” Greely said.

The ladies meet in a common area, bring yarn, hooks, and loving hands. Delores Roy is a resident who is part of the cause. Her father and husband served in the Army.

“I got started out here but then when I went into my space, my home, I continued and by the time I got done I came back out here and joined the class, I was almost done with it. I crochet fast when I get started. And then I can’t put it down actually. I put a lot of time into it,” she said.

Marcia Copeland’s dad served 22 years in the air force and her uncle, 33 years. She said they instilled in her how great our country is. Copeland said it wouldn’t be that way if not for the ones who serve and have served and she wants to give back.

“I’ve been crocheting off and on for awhile, but my problem is I kind of went off like this. I never could get my corners real square until Charlotte came around and showed me those lovely little safety pins. And I pinned it in and as you can see, they work,” Copeland said. “This, it touched my heart. That’s why I’m here.”

Greely said there’s no perfect way to crochet, but the ladies show up and start.

“There is no two alike. They are made with love and these ladies have poured their love into every stitch and every blanket,” Greely said.

The blankets range in colors and two are red, white, and blue. Greely said those two will go to the oldest female and male veteran at the home to honor their service to this country.

They plan to deliver the blankets to the veterans Christmas week and will be working up until then. They will likely have 35 to 40 blankets to gift.

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