From left, Doris Graham and her daughter, Patsy Cofer, Belton senior activities director, show off blankets they and other seniors made for McLane’s Children’s Hospital in Temple.

The Blue Bird Quilters from Belton Senior Activity Center delivered hand-sewn blankets Feb. 19 to the McLane Children’s Hospital Scott & White emergency/forensic department in Temple.

“I just want to take this time to congratulate those who worked on the blankets and the nurse staff for receiving them. I watch them do what they do; I’m equally proud of them,” said Jay Ward, director of the Belton Senior Activity Center.

More than 20 nurses, hospital staff, social workers and representatives from the senior center gathered at McLane Children’s to learn about the flow of activities children experience when they enter the emergency section of the hospital.

Sheilah Priori, nurse and pediatric center service coordinator, gave an overview of the department, saying their role is to prevent children from having to repeat or relive the trauma they experienced by providing all the necessary medical examinations needed when they first arrive.

“Following the medical exam, an official report is generated and forwarded to Child Protective Services or the police, depending on the situation,” Priori said. “If required, children are also referred to the Children Advocacy Center in Belton where trained professionals are able to assist the children without misleading or suggesting certain responses. Their responses are also used as evidence in court proceedings.”

Susan Blanchard, a licensed master social worker, said many children who are victims of abuse don’t require lengthy stays at the hospital.

“If they are 5 or 6, we do make referrals for ongoing outpatient counseling to help them cope with the trauma that they are dealing with.”

The quilts and colorful pillowcases donated to the department will be given to each patient whether they are placed in foster care or remain overnight.

“These blankets allow the child to focus on a new way of life,” said Patsy Cofer, Belton senior center activities director.

The Blue Bird Quilters donate all materials for the quilts, from fabric and thread to interfacing and filler, and many use their own sewing machines. To make a donation to the group, call Cofer at (254) 939-1170.

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