Austin seniors make blankets for the homeless

Austin sees its coolest temperatures during January, with overnight lows in the city often reaching freezing or dipping below. These frigid temperatures pose extra difficulty for the city’s more than 2,000 homeless, but residents at Buckner Villas senior living community are doing their part to help.

At this month’s craft class, residents made fleece blankets to donate to The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH). The initiative is part of the community’s monthly arts and crafts project aimed at helping seniors with hand-eye coordination, cognitive abilities and concentration. 

“Our arts and crafts class is very popular with residents, and they always look for ways to lend a helping hand,” said Janet Burnett, life enrichment coordinator. “The residents have hearts of gold, and they are always thinking of others.”

Pauline Swanberg was immediately interested in the blanket project. The 88-year-old has crocheted blankets for years and created more than 100 items for others. In the past, she made blankets for the newborns of family and friends, as well as scarfs for soldiers overseas. She regularly attends classes at the community to continue her passion for arts and crafts. 

“This is something wonderful we can do to help those who are less fortunate than us,” said Swanberg. “Any time I can participate in a project that will benefit others, I do. I like bringing joy to people and helping others, and by participating in the project I get to do that. I love that Buckner provides opportunities to participate in projects like this one. This is meaningful, and I hope it inspires others to share their generosity as well.”

“We always look for ways to give back, and with thousands of homeless people in Austin, the blankets will help us make a difference,” said Burnett. “We plan to continuously hold projects like this throughout year to benefit people across Austin.”

For more on the blanket project, check out this video coverage from Fox 7. 

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