Scarf Project Welcomes Young Helpers
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 3, 2022
LOVES PARK—The Catholic Women’s League is known for its annual Blanket Workshop where members of its sewing guild organize a roomful of adults ready to cut and tie the ends of what becomes fleece blankets to keep a variety of people warm.
This year, the sewing guild had additional requests from four agencies for lots of fleece scarves. Rather than disrupt the blanket-making effort, they thought to enlist some help from students needing service hours. 
The first youth workshop happened on Oct. 26, beginning with a morning class of eighth grade students from St. Bridget School. Two more junior high classes, totaling more than 60 students, met and worked that afternoon.
Sewing guild member Rosie Scalisi Sheridan and three other CWL volunteers, Beverly Lorenz, Marilyn Shigley and Crystal Wolford, were thrilled at how quickly the students mastered the process and how speedily they produced scarves. 
They also noticed one obvious commonality at both the youth and adult workshops: the happy chatting at each table throughout the room as the warm gifts are created.
“You’re helping four agencies today, and you’re doing an awesome job,” Scalisi Sheridan told the first class of students and their teacher, Mary Anderson. 
The four beneficiary agencies are the Rockford Family Peace Center (serving victims of inter-personal violence), Shelter Care Ministries Jubilee Center (a day program for adults who live with chronic mental illness), St. Elizabeth Catholic Community Center (serving the community with many programs), and the Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Resettlement programs (serving individuals and families).
A second youth scarf workshop is scheduled for Nov. 10 at Boylan Central Catholic High School in Rockford. A third workshop is set for Nov. 20 to enlist the help of religious education students and their families at St. Mary Parish in Byron.
About a week and a half later, adults from the CWL and the community will gather for the Blanket Workshop, meeting for the first time since the pandemic began. That workshop is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 1, at St. Bernadette Parish Center, 2400 Bell Ave., Rockford. 
The blanket-making event begins with a Mass for deceased bishops, priests and religious in the church at 10 a.m. The Mass is followed by lunch and then everyone gets busy tying fringe — no scissors this year because the CWL sewing guild will have pre-cut the fringe. The goal is to make 200 blankets, which will go to people served by Amberwood Nursing Home, Rockford Family Peace Center, Rock River Rehab, St. Elizabeth Catholic Community Center and Victory Outreach.
Additionally, the CWL is collecting new 12-inch-tall stuffed animals for Carrie Lynn Children’s Center; and insulated gloves and mittens for students ages 4-18 served by Catholic Charities programs.
Reservations to attend the luncheon and blanket workshop are essential for planning purposes, so RSVP to Rosie Scalisi Sheridan by Nov. 25 by texting or calling 815-978-4779, or email:
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