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Del Webb women knit items for newborns
From left, Nancy Berger, Carol Harrington and Carole Pfoutz display some of their recently made blankets and matching hats donated to the Mother-Baby Unit at Travis Air Force Base.

Carol Harrington enjoys knitting, crocheting and oil painting.

When some of her friends moved into the active Del Webb at Woodbridge retirement community she received an invite to join the knitting group.

“There, I met the most wonderful ladies in the world,” Harrington said.

They combined their skills to make hats, scarves, blankets and prayer shawls for needy folk at the local homeless and women shelters,  along with the San Joaquin General Hospital.

Harrington along with Nancy Berger and Carole Pfoutz – the two came under the recommendation of Doctors Hospital of Manteca – recently made blankets to accommodate the Mother-Baby Unit (Labor and Delivery) at Travis Air Force Base.

“Carole made 20 fleece blankets and matching hats and Nancy gave me 11 handmade blankets (two knitted and nine that were crocheted),” said Harrington. “Her work is beautiful.

“The babies will get a wonderful heirloom gift.”

Thus far, Harrington, Berger and Pfoutz have made 226 blankets to help young folks in the military.

They started those efforts in December.

“I made 30 flannel baby blankets and called Travis AFB’s Mother-Baby Unit at David Grant Medical Center,” recalled Harrington, who was thrilled that her donations were welcomed.

The following month, she added 18 blankets and 18 hats to the Mother-Baby Unit.

“The next month, I had 54 blankets and 54 hats,” she said. “(Travis AFB officials) were pleased and excited.

“They sent me a beautiful thank you letter.”

In April, Harrington returned with 25 blankets and 25 hats.

“They now knew who I was and looked forward to my coming,” she said.

The donations continued. Pfoutz made 18 fleece blankets and 18 hats, and Harrington brought 30 flannel blankets. She added 36 more last month.

She credits Doctors Hospital for helping her start up the endeavor.

“I went to the hospital and showed them five of crocheted hats and asked if (these items) can be used as part of the newborn gift package,” Harrington recalled.

But first she had to get hospital clearance.

Harrington was given the names of three others who also did crochet.

“I went to their homes and taught them how to do the little crochet hats,” she said.

That was 2 ½ years ago. Harrington added that this program is still going strong. “Every newborn (from Doctors Hospital) goes home with a handmade baby hat in his or her package,” she said.