Quilters, police join forces

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 1, 2002

There are a great many people in this city that serve others through community service. One such group, &uot;The Quilters Guild,&uot; has assisted Suffolk Police officers for the past two years by providing them with hand-made quilts. They again presented Suffolk Police with 62 brightly colored blankets on Thursday afternoon. Those soft symbols of love and caring will be put to good use by local law enforcement.

Police officers serve in many capacities in the performance of their duties, including that of comforter to children who are traumatized in accidents and other misfortunes. With the generous contribution of the Quilters Guild, officers attending children and victims of abuse can continue their tradition of &uot;serving and protecting.&uot;

Officers John K. Cooke and Junious H. Jackson are two of the officers of the Community Services Division of the Suffolk Police Department. They accepted the gift from the Quilters Guild on behalf of the entire department.

Email newsletter signup

Betty Bowler, 2001-02 president of the Quilters Guild, current President Cindy Cossu and Jennifer Pitsenbarger delivered the quilts to the police department. As they pulled the blankets out of their packaging, Bowler explained that the 65 members of the Guild spend many hours working on the hand-made items. Quilter Gerry Bryant, special projects coordinator, initiated the 2002 quilt project.

Bowler, a resident of northern Suffolk, said the organization performs two service projects a year including Christmas ornaments for disadvantaged children and the quilting project.

&uot;We meet at the Suffolk Museum and anyone interested in quilting can meet with us there,&uot; she said. &uot;We would be happy to have anyone who enjoys quilting and helping others.&uot;

Cossu, a River Creek resident, said she’s been making quilts from the inception of the project. This year, she spent many hours creating two blankets.

&uot;While you’re doing it, you can’t help but think of the children who will benefit from them,&uot; said Cossu. &uot;The police officers will have the quilts in their vehicles to give to children who are involved in some type of trauma.&uot;

Pitsenbarger drives from Portsmouth to participate in the quilting. She enjoys the closeness of the group and likes the idea of helping children.

&uot;I’ve been involved in this for about three years,&uot; Pitsenbarger said. &uot;This is my way of giving something back and knowing that the children will have something to make them feel better is a good thing.&uot;

As for Cooke and Jackson, after thanking the women for all their time and generosity, they scooped up the quilts and explained that they will divide them up with the different precincts of the department so that all officers and investigators will have something to place with a child.

&uot;We truly appreciate the quilts and the quilts they’ve given us in the past have been utilized throughout the city during many crisis situations involving children,&uot; Jackson explained. &uot;We give them to children involved in accidents as well as those who are fire victims and victims of domestic violence. It’s a way to show a child we care and it gives them a wonderful sense of security in a time when they desperately need it.&uot;

Cooke added that it’s truly a good feeling to know that citizens of Suffolk are taking time from their busy schedules to help police provide comfort to those in need.

&uot;This is another way, in which citizens can help police,&uot; he said. &uot;We can’t do it alone. We need help from all the people all the time. Together, we can make Suffolk a better place with a better quality of life for all.&uot;

Any civic group or organization that would like to help the Suffolk Police Department with service projects should contact Jackson and Cooke at 923-2350.