‘Kindness Works’ blanket drive for needy continues

Will end Jan. 5

New and handmade blankets are being collected at each branch of the Henry County Library System for area needy families.

New and handmade blankets are being collected at each branch of the Henry County Library System for area needy families.

The pile of blankets has been expanding on a table at the McDonough Public Library. The warm covers will not be there for long, however.

Organizers with the local “Kindness Works” campaign plan to collect the new and handmade blankets late next week to deliver them to the non-profit organization, Connecting Henry, Inc.

Connecting Henry, part of the Georgia Family Connection Partnership, serves as the local decision-making body, bringing community partners together to address issues like serving needy families. The blankets will go to those needy families this winter.

“Connecting Henry and Henry County libraries have been wonderful,” said Kit Welch, organizer and founder of the local “Kindness Works” campaign.

Welch unveiled the blanket drive — which started in November — as a way to honor the internationally recognized Kindness Week, celebrated in November.

The international event is designed to remind the world’s citizens about the positive effects of kindness. She said it also coincides with her son’s birthday, on Nov. 5. Welch’s son died in February 2004, at the age of 12. She said he was born with a rare genetic disorder, called Prader-Willie Syndrome, which affects childhood development. But he managed to live a joy-filled life, marked by kindness.

In 2004, she and a few friends kicked off a local observance of Kindness Week in remembrance of her son, Hunter Welch. “It’s because of all these wonderful friends that this came about,” said the mother. “Everyone was so unbelievably thoughtful and kind in taking care of us during that time.”

Welch said local schools, businesses, churches, and individuals now celebrate Kindness Week each year, during the second week of November.

“Local scouts and Sunday School classes were looking for [things] they could do specifically during Kindness Week,” she said.

Welch said she got the idea for the blanket drive seeing the need during the winter months, and watching her mother, Nina Johansen, and her mother’s friend, Helen Adeeb, make blankets and quilts for their friends.

Young girl scouts now make “no sew” blankets regularly for the blanket drive, which collects nearly 100 blankets annually for needy families.

Welch invites groups and individuals to donate new and handmade blankets to the cause, by dropping them off inside any of the five branches of the Henry County Library System. The blanket drive ends Thursday, Jan. 5, when libraries close for the week.

To learn more about individual library branch hours, visit www.henry.public.lib.ga.us.