Folks making Blankets For Soldiers at the meeting room at the Schroon Lake Town Hall. Photo courtesy Michele Avignone
Michele Avignone knows first-hand what a difference a warm, home-made blanket, can mean to a US serviceman or woman stationed overseas.
“When you get an email or a card or note from a member of the military who has received one, it brings tears to your eyes,” Michele told SchroonLaker.
For more than six years now Michele has been involved with making dozens of blankets which are sent to our troops in war zones around the world, which provide warmth and comfort during the cold winter months.
“These troops are freezing at night – even in summer months at bases in the desert, the nights can get very cold,” Michele said.
And she recently introduced a group of folks from Schroon and surrounding towns to ”Blankets For Soldiers” a grass roots group who are making sure our troops stay warm.
In early November a group of 15 people turned out ten blankets and last week 8 volunteers made 17. And more than $100 was raised to help pay for postage to get the blankets to Afghanistan.
Volunteers cut the fleece, before fringing
The blankets are made from two pieces of blizzard fleece, measuring 2 ½ yards by 2 ½ yards. The material is then cut and the two layers fringed together.
“The two groups we had in Schroon had a lot of fun doing this. This is a grass roots effort and everyone involved gets something out of the experience helping others,” Michele said.
Michele, who has been coming to Schroon Lake for more than 30 years, first got involved in volunteering for our troops when she was in Valencia, California – where she also has a home -- about 6 years ago.
“We got involved in putting together seasonal packages of groceries with a group out there to send to the troops at Christmas. We then started making scarfs. From there we started to send blankets which we purchased at Sam’s Club. That became expensive. We then realized we could make them for a fraction of the cost".
From there Michele has helped spread the blanket making good will to Florida, where she has hosted several blanket making events and where she is headed in early January.
But before she leaves she is helping to organize another blanket making event, potentially around Valentine’s Day. If you’d like to help out making blankets or make a donation to help with postage, email Michele at Michele.Avignone@yahoo.com or call her at 661-755-2019.