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Neighbors set up new Tooele homeless center one stitch at a time

Posted at 5:58 PM, Aug 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-02 19:58:04-04

TOOELE, Utah — A new homeless resource center in Tooele isn't expected to open for another year, but neighbors are already working to set it up.

Women across Tooele County are trying to do their part to make Harris Community Village feel more like home in a way that's Positively Utah.

The Tooele County Quilters are a group of over 50 women who get together to sew, and have found a community in each other. And they are working to make a difference through various charity projects. One of them is creating quilts for the beds at the Harris Community Village.

“Hope that they just want to get wrapped up in it and feel the comfort and warmth, and that somebody cared enough about them to make something for them,” said Karen Pinkelman, one of the women leading this effort.

Pinkelman has volunteered with the Tooele Community Resource Center for over a year, and she wanted to find a way to give back, using her special talent – quilting. so she reached out to the center and asked how she could help.

“(They) said, we would love to have homemade quilts on the beds at the Harris facility when they open up. And I thought, I think we can do this,” Pinkelman said.

The women gather once a month to sew for a cause, and to enjoy the company.

Pinkelman says she has been charity sowing for years, and she is grateful for the impact her pieces can make.

“They’re that important to other people. They’re important to me,” she said.

They are also important to the people who will come to the shelter at the Harris community village and see a labor of love on their bed.

“It makes a difference,” said Christy Johnson, Regional director of Switchpoint, the organization working with the Tooele Housing Authority to build Harris Community Village to provide resources to those in need under one roof.

“It means a lot, so thank you so much,” she said to the group.

Pinkelman says she loves being able to use her passion and talent to help people around her. And does it with the biggest smile on her face.

“Quilting is really important, it’s a part of my life. I love fabric and you always buy too much of it, you don’t know what to do with all of it, and I’ve had friends that have passed away and I inherit their gorgeous fabric, but you can’t take it with you. So why not share it and make somebody else happy?”