When her mother was convalescing from surgery Brenda Vale noticed many nursing home residents who looked lonely.
A member of Candlewyck Baptist Church in Charlotte, Vale created Laps of Love a year ago both to give senior adults a meaningful activity, and to produce a tangible expression of love for nursing home residents, and now, for residents of Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH).
Vale and her volunteers make what she calls “lapghans,” small blankets about three-feet square that can be quilted, knitted or crocheted. She takes them to senior adults in nursing homes and assisted living centers where she visits and “shares the love of Jesus with them.”
This year she is trying to make such a blanket for each of about 350 children in care at Baptist Children’s Homes on a given day. She has delivered the first round to Mills Home in Thomasville, where she said the kids loved them, “even the teenage boys.”
“One little girl picked out one I personally made,” Vale said. “I hugged her and told her whenever she used this blanket it was a hug from me.”
“Our girls absolutely loved visiting with you all when you came to Mills Home,” said a thank you note from child care worker Amy Snovak. “They were so thankful for the blankets and quilts that were handmade for them. As I check the girls’ ’ rooms each day, I see the quilts and blankets folded at the ends of their beds. They are very special to them and they will never forget the love that you guys have shown them. These quilts and blankets are also the ones that they bring out to the TV room to watch movies, etc.”
“We hope these lapghans represent that someone cares for them and that they know we’re doing it representing the love of Jesus,” said Vale. “We want them to know, ‘Somebody cares for me.’”
Volunteers from 10-year-olds to senior adults work together during monthly work days. Initial materials were purchased by Candlewyck member and BCH trustee Angus Mercer and his wife, Joyce. Other funds have come in from those who learn about the ministry.
Vale’s house is slowly filling with materials. She is an accountant for a Charlotte insurance company, but is beginning to feel a call to ministry among senior adults.