Payson Interfaith Council sponsors ‘Blankets for Babies’

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Judy Gibson, Cindy Wood and Kathleen Muhlestein work on a quilt during a community service project in Payson.
Judy Gibson, Cindy Wood and Kathleen Muhlestein work on a quilt during a community service project in Payson.

By Miriam Hawkes Boatright

About 100 people participated in a community service project at Payson’s City Center banquet hall on March 25 for needy newborns in Utah County.

Seventy-one blankets were completed by the end of the day and an estimated 30 more will be finished by volunteers within the next few weeks.

Bonnie Hardy, bureau director of Utah County’s Maternal and Child Health office, approached Payson’s Interfaith Council last fall about the great need for specific blanket items for newborns in immigrant or low-income homes in the county. Under Kent Boykin, chair of Payson’s Interfaith Council and pastor of Hope Baptist Church, the council jumped on board to organize an interfaith service project for the community, which included at least five different denominations meeting in local buildings. The Interfaith Council hosts an annual Pancake Prayer Breakfast during Onion Days and recently sponsored a highly successful fundraiser dinner and pie auction for Payson’s Helping Hands charity.

People of all ages and skill levels helped create the blankets, which will be distributed to individual homes in 2017 by nurses and staff at the county’s Maternal and Child Health office. While some gathered previously in homes and churches to make tied baby quilts and sensory “tag” blankets for the project, most came to the building to organize donations and supplies, cut and measure fabrics, stitch flannel receiving blankets and tie dozens of tummy-time quilts. Enthusiasm was high and many hoped to repeat the project in the future.