Colorful Quilts A Joy For Kids

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Benton County ladies are making quilt tops that are quilted and bound by City’s Edge Quilt Shop and Sewing Center in Warsaw. This joint effort results in the production of 30 to 40 twin size quilts every month that are then donated to children residing at Great Circle – Tom Butterfield campus, in Marshall, Missouri.
“We are looking for quilt tops that are 60 by 80 inches, a typical twin bed size,” said Nancy Maple at City’s Edge. “The local Spoonbill Quilt Guild has been making these quilts for three or four years, and many women who come to the store are also involved. Some of the children in the residential care facility are able to be put into foster care and take their quilts with them.  Other children with behavioral health services get quilts that they keep with them in residence. The children range in age from about 8 to 18, and sometimes to 21 depending on their disabilities.”
Great Circle – Tom Butterfield campus is one of five residential campuses for children in Missouri, serving about 250 children. The Tom Butterfield campus has an average of 60 children at a time.  Bev Pfeifer-Harms, media specialist with Great Circle, said that many quilts come into the residential centers around Christmas time. She said that Great Circle has had a quilting tradition for at least 40 years.
“When new quilts come in, they are given to the children who do not already have a quilt,” said Pfeifer-Harms.  “Generally, we try to make sure every child has a quilt when they come into our residential care program. Of course, the quilt may not be needed during the summer, but we certainly try to make sure everyone has a quilt in the winter!”
Pfeifer-Harms said that the Great Circle also has counseling services, crises services, emergency shelters, education, foster care services, parenting support plus much more. There are 20 different community offices across Missouri. She also said that Great Circle has a special education program that children can attend if emotional health is a problem that cannot be addressed in regular classrooms. The organization serves 100 different schools with this program, and helps 43,000 children and families a year. The program has just expanded into eastern Kansas into 16 counties.
“Tom Butterfield Youth Services was founded by Tom Butterfield about 60 years ago in Marshall,” said Pfeifer-Harms. “Six years ago, it merged with Great Circle.”