President of senior club makes a blanket statement

Ruth South helps club makes prayer shawls, blankets for those in need

Ruth South helps club makes prayer shawls, blankets for those in need

January 18, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

About 20 years ago, Ruth South was invited to a meeting of the Manor Church Senior Citizens Club by Ruth Shank, wife of the first president.

South went to that first meeting not knowing that soon after, she would become president of the organization - a post she has held since.

"I do love it," South said.

The club has a membership of about 60 men and women, with 45 to 50 regularly attending monthly meetings.

Organized in May 1978, the club uses the church's social hall while not actually being affiliated with the church, South said. The first president was Harvey Shank, who was a member of the church.

"New people are always welcome," said South, 94. "And we never ask anyone's age."

Some older members are taken to meetings by younger relatives, many of whom stay and get involved in the activities, South said.


Current Manor Church Senior Citizen Club activities include making prayer shawls - a two-year project - and sewing fleece blankets for toddlers as part of Project Linus, which has more than 400 chapters nationwide.

New and handmade blankets are created, then gathered and distributed. They can be knitted, crocheted, quilted or fleece.

Project Linus is a volunteer nonprofit organization with the mission of providing love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need through the gifts of new handmade blankets.

The national Web site for Project Linus is The local group's e-mail address is

More than 60 fleece blankets and about 20 prayer shawls have been sewn by Manor Church senior citizens.

The women's prayer shawls are triangular and the men's are rectangular, South said. Each has been "infused" with the prayers of the creators as well as other club members for the improved health of the wearers.

"We have also made lap robes for several nursing homes, baby blankets for newborns and bags for people who use walkers," South said.

The club meets the first Wednesday of each month at noon, beginning with a covered dish meal. The church is off Sharpsburg Pike at Manor Church Road.

For information, call South at 240-420-3741.

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