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Sisters collect blankets for young victims of Hurricane Harvey victims

By David Barr

davidbarr@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 9/13/17

Sisters Nancy King and Judi Bitner are both involved in the quilt-making business, and they’ve recently put their love of quilting towards helping young children affected by Hurricane …

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Sisters collect blankets for young victims of Hurricane Harvey victims

Judi Bitner, left, receives a few donated blankets and quilts from her friend Kathy Harder Martin of Camp Hill. Bitner plans to ship them to Houston to bring some cheer to children impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Judi Bitner, left, receives a few donated blankets and quilts from her friend Kathy Harder Martin of Camp Hill. Bitner plans to ship them to Houston to bring some cheer to children impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
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Sisters Nancy King and Judi Bitner are both involved in the quilt-making business, and they’ve recently put their love of quilting towards helping young children affected by Hurricane Harvey.

For now, they’ve already sent one shipment of quilts to Texas and are planning to send one more shipment.

“We’re going to try and get some more,” King said. “A little brightness to their world, that’s a good thing.”

“I can’t imagine what a child is experiencing. If they can find some comfort with a quilt, then that makes me feel good,” Bitner said.

The act started after King, who lives in Middletown, shared a link on Facebook from the The Linus Connection organization, which said it was looking for donated blankets.

According to its website, The Linus Connection is a central Texas organization that makes and delivers handmade security blankets for children in crisis situations in that area.

Blankets go to any child in need of a little extra security in their lives, whether they are in emergency rooms, crisis centers, foster care, or battered women’s shelters.

King began requesting donations from fellow quilters. Bitner, who lives in Camp Hill, also shared the same link on her business’s Facebook page, Needle Down Fabrics. The sisters split up the region, King accepting donations from the East Shore, and Bitner the West Shore.

King collected 18 quilts and donated three of her own for a total of 21 quilts. Bitner received 22 donated quilts and donated four of hers for a total of 26 quilts.

“They just came to us with their quilts,” King said, adding that some people gave monetary donations instead of a quilt, which helped offset the shipping cost.

Both sisters said the quilts they donated had already been made prior to the announcement and they did not specifically make any quilts for this effort.

According to Bitner, the sisters grew up with sewing machines and materials in the home and the craft has expanded into more than just a hobby for both of them.

Both have small businesses involving different stages of quilting. Bitner’s is online, and customers can purchase different fabrics. King’s involves her stitching the back, top and bedding of a quilt together for customers.

Bitner said that the sisters would be willing to respond similarly to Hurricane Irma in Florida, if a Linus-like organization reached out for help.

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