The women gathered at the home of Kay and Chuck Schultz last week for another marathon blanket-making session last week.
In one room, Kay Schultz and Char Burgner ready blanket layers for tying.
In the next room, a group of ladies tie two layer blankets together, their fingers creating quick knots, one after the other.
The two layers provide an extra layer of warmth, said Nancy McClure.
“It makes them twice as warm,” she said.
At the end of the session, 30 more blankets lay ready to distribute to those in need of a little extra warmth this winter.
The blankets are collected and given to a host of needy charities and families throughout the Upstate, including Helping Hands of Clemson, United Way of Pickens County and the Tamassee, said Kay Schultz.
The blankets are also included in baskets given to senior citizens through the United Way and also given to some seniors on Pickens County Meals on Wheels
Making and distributing blankets has been an annual tradition since Kay and Chuck moved to The Vineyards.
“She started out making them for herself and some neighbors and it expanded from there,” said Chuck Schultz.
Beginning in September, the ladies work on the blankets through the Christmas holidays, then begin again in January until summer.
“We take the summers off,” said Kay Schultz. “There’s not a real need for them during the summer.”
Making the blankets is just one of the many charitable projects Cliffs Communities residents take part in, said Ray Steck, Vineyards Fire District Chairman.
“They do a tremendous amount of stuff,” he said. “This is a tremendous undertaking, but they’ve got a lot of major undertakings. This is but one of them.”
“They fill out a wish list and the residents go out and try to fill them,” Chuck Schultz said.
Residents have adopted 38 kids this year, he said.
A food drive collected throughout the Cliffs Communities last year resulted in 38 wash baskets full of food, which were then given to needy senior citizens, he said.
The charity projects undertaken by the Cliffs residents rely on no public funding, said Ray Steck, Vineyards Fire District Commissioner.
Residents also help needy schoolchildren and their families.
Char Burgner serves on the board of directors for Cliffs Resident Outreach Program, which oversees many of the charitable projects in the communities.
“We, throughout our local schools, we adopt needy children and their families,” she said.
Residents also adopt children served by Helping Hands of Clemson.
“Right now at Holly Springs (Elementary School) we have eight families that we feed every weekend,” she said. “We take baskets of food to the schools. These are families that, for whatever reason, are in tough times right now. Sometimes they’ve been laid off, sometime there are serious illnesses. We try to help them out.”
Children in those Holly Springs families also receive blankets, she said.
The Tamassee DAR School and Children’s Home is also well-served by Cliffs residents, who collect books for the students throughout the year.
The blankets allow the group of friends to catch up on each others’ lives, said Nancy McClure.
“It’s like a quilting bee,” she said. “It gets us together in a nice friendly setting and we get to do a nice thing while we’re doing it.”
The gifts are greatly appreciated, said Vicki Hansen.
“They help keep people warm,” she said.