4/25/2013 12:34:00 PM Church programs provide resources and support for making families stronger
The Baby Blanket at St. Bridget’s Church in Lindstrom provides infant and toddler equipment, clothes and more for struggling parents. A new crib was being loaded into a car by Peter, a program volunteer, for a woman who asked not to be identified. The Baby Blanket is open Saturdays. Enter at the small door on the south side of the church, east of the main doors. Hannah’s Arms compliments the outreach of The Baby Blanket and teaches homemaking skills in the lower level of the church also on Saturdays. See story.
by DENISE MARTIN
Entering the lower level of the Catholic church in Lindstrom last Saturday morning a visitor might hear the clickety-clack of sewing machines, the conversations of very young children busy with their toys, or the occasional squeal from an infant fussing in her car seat while her mother makes new friends. These are the sounds of Hannah’s Arms, a program offered on Saturdays at St. Bridget’s Church; that dovetails nicely with The Baby Blanket, just up one flight of stairs.
The Baby Blanket is a resource center and clearinghouse that provides goods and clothing for kids ages infant to size 4, and compassionate support for moms or dads. The Baby Blanket and Hannah’s Arms are staffed by volunteers, some of whom got involved when they were in need of the program themselves. St. Bridget’s Church gets help in providing these programs and items that are distributed; but there’s always room for donations and volunteers. St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Forest Lake sponsored the lunch served last weekend.
Speakers and teachers for Hannah’s Arms sessions come from all over. The embroidery class where participants were embellishing a dish towel and learning some basic stitches last weekend was taught by Robin Bour, Forest Lake. She commented that she covers all kinds of crafts and handwork skills. She has always enjoyed teaching. Hannah’s Arms features a craft lesson each time that could be wreath-making, designing a candle holder, or a holiday related project. Other volunteers supervise the kids-- there were about 15 youngsters in the play area when we visited. The kids get snack and lunch and do actitivities. Sewing classes are taking place at the other end of the multi-purpose room. For this homemaking session the beginners were selecting material and making a large scarf.
Others who have been attending sewing class for a few Saturdays are working towards earning their own machine. The programs are provided at no charge to all participants and there’s no age limit or questions about income. Baby Blanket and Hannah’s Arms welcome volunteers, speakers and donations, especially cash, because state law requires that the cribs and car seats given out must not be pre-owned. To volunteer or ask about donating call the voice mail at 651-257-2474, extension 34 and leave your contact information. If you’d like to attend a Hannah’s Arms session or get into the sewing class you MUST pre-register so there are enough supplies, do so by calling the number above to register.
Schedule of Sessions: all are from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. the third Saturday May 18-- Flower arranging Speaker on massage therapy June 15-- Speaker on goal setting and project is bird feeder July 20-- Bring photos for scrapbook. Speaker on emotional health August 17-- Rock Garden project and household maintenance is topic Sept. 21-- A fall wreath and car care is topic October 19-- Decorate a pumpkin. Speaker on relationships Nov.16-- Thanksgiving craft and gratitude is the topic December 21-- Do a holiday project.