Resident sews comfort into quilts for victims

Sara Van Cleve
Posted

A local woman has turned her passion into a form of comfort for abused children.

Margaret Dodson, 92, of Arvada has sewn nearly her entire life, but it wasn’t until last year she started making child-size quilts from her residence at Exempla Colorado Lutheran Home.

“I love to sew and they let me have my sewing machine,” Dodson said. “I have lots of material and people bring in odds and ends.”

In 2012 Dodson made 106 child-size quilts — all of which her son, Paul Dodson, took over the Ralston House, a nonprofit child advocacy center that provides a safe and comfortable environment for children who have been sexually or physically abused to receive help and tell their story.

The blankets are given to children victims of sexual assault, said Ralston House Executive Director Don Moseley.

“When they come into the medical exam room, instead of having to sit on those white paper covers like at a doctor’s office, they get to pick out a blanket they get to take with them,” Moseley said. “They lay on it for the exam. It’s a real form of comfort.”

Dodson has faced multiple strokes and a heart attack over the past few years, but continues to sit at her sewing table, focusing on the needle of her sewing machine on a regular basis to help support children facing hard times.

“(Helping children) gave me a reason for being here,” she said. “The good Lord must have planned it that way to keep me going on.”

Paul Dodson said his mother faced various odds and ends with her health, but it didn’t stop her.

“She bounced back and asked for her sewing machine,” Paul said. “She sews and reads vicariously now.”

Dodson said she enjoys being able to use her talent to help children victims.

“I hope it gives them a new lease on life,” Dodson said.

Last year, Dodson was averaging two or three blankets per week. In the beginning of April, she was working on her first two blankets of 2013.

Without the volunteerism and donations of Dodson, the blankets would be an impossible luxury for Ralston House, Moseley said.

“We could never afford them,” Moseley said. “It’s so nice of her to provide extra comfort to the kids directly. It’s fun to see how excited they are to pick out a blanket. It makes each kid feel special.”

Moseley said he is thankful for what Dodson does.

“She spends a lot of time quilting these blankets, and she makes them so pretty and nice, and gives them away to us to give to the kids,” he said. “We are very appreciative.”