Elkton woman knits scarves for needy

Published 10:56 am Thursday, November 13, 2008

Every year for the last 30 years, Dolores Jech has been making scarves, lap robes and afghans for babies.

By her own estimation, they have numbered between 50 and 90 a year for three decades.

That’s a lot of warmth.

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“I love it,” she said of her prolific pastime. “I love doing something for people who need it.”

For instance, people who come to the Salvation Army Austin Corps needing assistance.

Lori Blanton, caseworker and Family Thrift Store coordinator for the Salvation Army, said Jech’s gestures are welcome each cold weather season.

“I see the people who come to the Salvation Army for help from the emergency food pantry, who also need help with coats and scarves in the winter,” Blanton said. “We need them all the time here and the scarves knitted and crocheted by Mrs. Jech make a big difference in their lives.”

Jech and her husband, Rudy, live on a farm outside Elkton.

She needs a single night, sitting in her favorite chair, to knit or crochet a scarf, lap robe or afghan while her husband watches televisions. “The big ones might take two nights of knitting,” she said, “but I knit wherever I go. When I take Rudy to the hospital for a treatment, I will be knitting in the waiting room. I just love to do this.”

Jech delivered 50 brightly-colored scarves and lap robes to the Salvation Army headquarters Tuesday, where Blanton accepted them with the Austin Corps’ thanks.

But helping the Salvation Army isn’t Jech’s only volunteering opportunity. Next year, she will celebrate 25 years of work as a volunteer for the Mower County chapter of the American Red Cross.

And Jech doesn’t stop volunteering, when she and her husband visit their daughters, Debbie and Cindy, each winter in Australia: She volunteers for the International Red Cross there.

She knits and works a shift at a Red Cross kiosk in a local hospital there.

Back home, she is a member of an energetic circle of women at the Jechs’ family church, St. John Lutheran of Elkton, where they collect baby clothes and knit items for layettes for Rachel’s Hope.

“I don’t want any attention for what I do,” Jech said. “We all should do what we can for the needy. I just do it because I love it so much.”

The Salvation Army is taking applications for Christmas assistance until Dec. 11.

Interested applicants should contact Blanton at the Austin Corps headquarters for more information or call 437-4566.