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Calabasas | VALLEY FOCUS

Girl Scouts Create a Gift of Warmth

September 17, 1997|KARIMA A. HAYNES

For eight months, the members of Brownie Troop 356 have painstakingly sewn three infant quilts they intend to donate to a Los Angeles shelter for homeless women and children.

The quilts will not only provide comfort for the babies who receive them, but the project will afford the young Girl Scouts an up-close view of an impoverished world they likely have not seen before.

"When we first began working on the quilts, the girls kept asking, 'What are we doing this for? Why don't [the parents] just go to the store and get one?' " recalled troop leader Rebecka Dickson. "The idea that people are poor and cannot afford to buy a quilt was totally foreign to them."

By making the quilts and taking them from the San Fernando Valley to the Alexandria House Shelter for Women and Children in inner-city Los Angeles, Dickson said she hopes the girls will gain a greater appreciation for what they have and develop a desire to help those less fortunate.

Dickson is quick to point out that the project's aim is not to teach a heavy moral lesson, but a chance for the girls--ages 6 to 8--to have fun working on the quilts and playing games with the kids at the shelter when they deliver the quilts.

The project began in January with each of the 18 girls tracing her handprint onto a piece of fabric, then sewing it onto a 9-inch piece of cloth, Dickson said. Troop leaders then added a center square that reads, "Hugs From Troop #356," sewed the squares together and put on a border.

Dickson said the troop plans to present the quilts to the shelter Sept. 27.

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