The handmade quilt covered in a pattern of primary-color crayons was the perfect find for Nevaeh Walker, 3, an artist in the making who passed on the Disney princesses and Raggedy Ann varieties.
"I like the crayons because I like to color so much," Nevaeh said as she wrapped the quilt around herself and made way for others waiting to sort through some of the 44 quilts laid out in the media center at West Zephyrhills Elementary School.
The quilt giveaway is an annual event, one that began about five years ago when parent and volunteer coordinator Becky Bishop handed a list of student needs to Jean Popp,, a former member of the Sundance Mobile Home Park Ladies' Group, after they signed on to the school's Adopt a Class program.
On the list: blankets for little ones enrolled in the school's Head Start program.
Throughout the year senior volunteers in the Sew & Sew's quilt group at Sundance have been busy creating handmade quilts for little ones such as Nevaeh to cuddle up with come nap time. Some were simple patterns; others more intricately made. But as intended, there was something to suit most anyone's liking — dinosaurs, Dalmatians and ballerinas; Hello Kitty, Winnie the Pooh, cartoon cars and more.
Last month, volunteers Connie DeRosby, 78, and Grace Smalligan, 75, delivered their bounty and watched in delight as students waded through the sea of quilts to find just the right one.
"It's just wonderful that they do this every year," said Head Start teacher Amy Jamison. "We just really appreciate the effort and time they put in to doing this for us. I love seeing the kids' smiles and how they wrap themselves in their blankets. And I think they actually sleep better."
Michele Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org