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Warming Laps and Hearts

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Mattie Todd Lester proudly displays her new quilt. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

A group of kupuna received a cozy gift last week when members of the Molokai Museum Handcrafters Guild presented them with colorful, handmade quilts.

Wilma Pratt, who founded the guild in 2008, said the eight members gather to quilt and create crafts together once a month. It took them about a year to sew about a dozen lap quilts, and Pratt said they decided to donate the finished products to the kupuna at Na Pu`uwai’s Senior Day Care Center, a program that offers care and activities for the elderly.

Their warm and colorful gifts brought smiles and words of gratitude last week.

“I will cherish this… I’m so grateful!” exclaimed Darnell Meheula, as she wrapped herself in the yellow and red animal quilt she selected. Meheula said she’s a former teacher but after suffering a stroke last year, she’s relearning everything.

Mattie Todd Lester glowed as she held up her chosen quilt.

“I can wrap myself up when I watch TV!” she said.

Kari Kaahanui, assistant manager at the Day Care Center, said clients range in age from 55 to 95.

“We feel immensely blessed that they would think of our kupuna,” she said of the Handcrafters Guild.

Pratt said every year, the group donates the fruits of their labor to a different cause. In 2013, they mailed 12 quilts to the Linus Project in Indianapolis for at-risk and critically ill children. This time, they wanted to offer the quilts to local beneficiaries, and heard about the Day Care Center.

“We were looking for somebody that would take them, and someone suggested this group,” said Pratt.

She said the group meets every third Thursday of the month at the Molokai Museum from 3 to 6 p.m. and they welcome anyone interested in handcrafts to join them.

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