Quilting for a cause: How Belle Fourche quilters and cops are joining forces this holiday season
BELLE FOURCHE, S.D. — A warm blanket can be one of the most comforting items for a child, especially if they’re experience hard times. Belle Fourche Police Department’s Kids and Cops event has received an extra soft touch during the past couple of holiday seasons, with quilt donations from two local quilting groups.
Here are some answers to questions about the event and quilts!
What is Kids and Cops?
“We get the names from the schools. The school identifies families that are in need, and those are the kids that are selected,” explains Mardi Reeves, Police Admin. Technician at Belle Fourche Police Department. “So we take them shopping and then when the shopping is done, we have like a Christmas gift wrapping pizza party. Just kind of a fun event for the kids and the officers, really.”
Why are events and partnerships like this important to the town of Belle Fourche and its police officers?
“Trauma and tragedy doesn’t doesn’t hold to one group or another, it affects everybody in the whole community,” says Belle Fourche Police Department Chief Ryan Cherveny. “It’s a good way for the entire community to come together as a whole to help each other out, which Belle Fourche has been very successful with, and it’s had a lot of positive response from outreach of the community to help each other out in times of need.”
Who makes and donates the quilts to the Belle Fourche Police Department?
Two local groups sew and donate their quilts. Northern Hills Quilt Guild along with a quilting group at St. James Lutheran Church donate their time and talents to make dozens of quilts.
“I’m a retired teacher and they were my kids for nine months, and I still love those kids and I’m glad that they’re getting this,” says Sherry Petera with Northern Hills Quilt Guild.
Why donate quilts to children at the Kids and Cops event?
“A lot of times kids go through some traumatic events and having that that quilt to wrap them up in is a comforting thing for them,” adds Chief Cherveny.
The quilts go to kids and families who may just need an extra warm hug this season. Plus, kids are happy to receive a homemade gift.
“They’re very excited about it. Like it’s a very special thing, that someone had made this and it’s theirs now,” adds Reeves.
What about other times of the year?
They always have quilts on hand to give to the police department for their encounters with those in need.
“We gave seven of them one year to a family that had a fire right before Christmas….that’s why we keep them on hand. So we do it for everybody we can,” adds Carolyn Kindsfater, a quilter at St. James Lutheran Church.