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Locals create quilts to support those in need

Members of the Unaka Piecemakers Quilt Club presents Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department Administrative Assistant Craig Masters with quilts for first responders to use when they are on calls. (Contributed photo)

By Richard Rourk

Several artists in Unicoi County who use thread as a medium are using their talents to help those in need.

Two quilting clubs, the Unaka Piecemakers Quilt Club and the Fishery Stitchers of Fishery Community Church, recently donated quilts to the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department, Erwin Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Erwin Fire Department and Washington County/Johnson City EMS of Unicoi County.

According to Sheriff’s Department Administrative Assistant Craig Masters, the quilts were given to first responders to use when they encounter children who may need some comfort.

“Our first responders see situations that most don’t and these quilts will be used to help victims in their time of need,” Masters said.

Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley acknowledged that the quilts will help on numerous calls. “We are very appreciative of these quilts. We can use these during inclement weather, especially if someone was involved in an accident,” Hensley said. “We can also use them if a car is stalled and perhaps the individuals are not properly dressed for our weather patterns. These will come in very useful. We can use these quilts during flooding situations as well.”

According to Erwin Police Chief Regan Tilson, the quilts will be used for some very special victims. 

“The quilts will be used in our cars for children who may have been in a traumatic situation such as a car crash, domestic violence, a house fire or some other tragic event,” Tilson said. “I can’t say how special it is to have these made just for us to use. The time and dedication it takes and the thought that they had for kids that may need them is amazing. I really think we live in a special place where people care so much for others.”

For Washington County/Johnson City EMS of Unicoi County Executive Director Adam Copas, the quilts will fill a much needed void.

“The quilts that were graciously designed and given to us will be used to bring comfort and reassurance to the children we care for from time to time,” Copas said. “About 10 percent of our call volume involves a pediatric element, so there is no doubt that they will be utilized and will be an added benefit to the service we provide. I’d like to thank the Unaka Piecemakers and Fishery Stitchers for these wonderful items and their dedication to improving the well being of the children of our great community.”

If you are interested in joining The Unaka Piecemakers Quilting Club, the club meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 10 a.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 103 Rock Creek Road.

If you are interested in joining the Fishery Stitchers, call Fishery Community Church.