CHAZY — For some victims of Hurricane Sandy, comfort came in the form of handmade quilts that are likely especially welcome now that winter has set in.
The personal touch was part of efforts made by Rick Laurin, president of the Chazy Lions Club, and by Lions Club chapters in northern New York. Money, clothing and blankets were donated by clubs in Chazy, Plattsburgh, Peru, Malone, Potsdam and Lisbon, near Potsdam.
Laurin noted that wherever he called, people were eager to help.
Then, he said, “I just packed up my truck.”
Driving down solo with relief supplies in November, he met up with Lions Clubs members in the affected area to distribute the supplies and volunteer for relief work.
In a truck full of provisions, the homemade quilts were a special feature.
“My wife (Priscilla) and I, and some of our family, have been making quilts for a couple of years now,” Laurin explained. “When we first heard of the storm, we got a lot more of the family involved.”
To finish the quilts, they had a “tying party” at their house one weekend.
A quilt consists of a top and bottom with a layer of warm batting in the middle. Tying the three layers at intervals with yarn is quicker than quilting around the individual blocks of fabric that make up the top.
Among the family members making the quilts and helping at the tying party were Laurin’s father, Walter, 81, and his mother, Rita Rae, 79.
“For them, it’s both about doing something good and doing something with the family.”
‘A LOT OF NEED’
In the end, Rick was able to bring eight handmade quilts to the hurricane victims — four queen-size and four for children.
When he arrived on Staten Island 12 days after the hurricane, he found devastation.