Yarn friends, Betty Cipriano and Sue Reinfurt, both of Beach Lake, met through an article in The Wayne Independent.

Yarn friends, Betty Cipriano and Sue Reinfurt, both of Beach Lake, met through an article in The Wayne Independent.

Sue, who made beautiful, patriotic, flag afghans wondered if anyone would like to join her in making more for hospitalized Veterans or lap afghans for nursing home residents — or anyone in need. Betty, who loves to work wonders with yarn, couldn’t wait to call.

“Sue started this wonderful project for our Vets and ...I just continued in her footsteps,” Betty said. Betty found fellow crocheters, along with folks who donated funds for yarn. “I got people to donate yarn that they had sitting home doing nothing. And the list is so tall, I can’t even begin to tell you. I have a whole folder of people (who’ve helped),” she said. Friends and family from as far away as California, Nevada, South Dakota, and Florida gave, along with a long list of locals, like Ellie Johnson of New York.

 Seventy-three-year-old Josephine Carbone of Central Islip, Long Island, New York has lovingly crocheted over 70 lap throws in support of the cause, while Cicile Grandjean of Honesdale, along with Rudy Danelski and daughter Chrissy of Welcome Lake, have been equally devoted. 

“My retired Vet cousin, Dr. James Dengel from Bronx, NY and Florida, just sent me a check for $100 to buy yarn,” Betty said. Dr. Dengel, who served in the Korean War, told his cousin, “You are an angel, keep up the great work.”

Earlier this month, they sent a total of 53 afghans to the V.A. Hospital in Wilkes-Barre. “Veteran Vince Conrad and wife Kathy were angels and transported the three deliveries to the V.A. Hospital, when he went for outpatient services. I offered to pay for their gas — and they said (no), that they were happy to help,” she said.

The V.A. Hospital, happy to get them, sends out a thank-you letter every time. “On behalf of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, patients and staff, we would like to extend our appreciation to you and all others who helped make this donation of lap robes possible. Your thoughtfulness reflects the concern that you feel for our Veterans and the sacrifices they made to all of us when in service to our Country.” 

A young neighbor, afflicted with a rare disease, was the recipient of an afghan as well. Knowing the little girl has to make long trips to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh for treatment, Betty figured she could use an afghan to snuggle on the ride down. Betty put a bunch of afghans in her car to let the little one take her pick. She picked out a pastel colored afghan of mint, pink and lavender.

Sue says it does her heart good to see the afghans in use, like the ones she donated to a local nursing home and had the pleasure of seeing them on people’s laps and beds as she passed by their doors.

What’s that feeling you get when you know you’ve made a difference? “Satisfaction that you can make a difference — how much just a blanket can make a difference,” Sue says.

“A couple of people want to learn how to crochet. They asked me if I would start a class over in the Community Center in Beach Lake and show them,” Betty said. If you’d like to volunteer, have yarn you’d like to donate, or would like to learn how to knit or crochet, they will show you. For more details, call Betty at 729-8218 or Sue at 729-8497.