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Oklahoma woman has made more than 3,000 blankets to help children

Gerry Kennemer
Posted at 12:00 PM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 19:39:31-04

TULSA, Okla. — "I started piecing quilts because that's what my mom did."

Gerry Kennemer started sewing and crocheting when she was 15 years old.

"Oh, I was in high school," Kennemer says.

It's a skill she learned from her mother who had her own sewing room in the family home.

It came in very handy while raising two children when money was tight.

"Times were hard in my day," Kennemer says.

"You could buy material for 25 cents a yard, on sale maybe 10."

Kennemer says she used to take her daughter to downtown Tulsa to look at dresses and see how they were sewn together.

"And I copied their dresses and she looked just like they did."

Now, 80 years later, Kennemer has her own sewing room where she makes blankets for Joy in the Cause -- a nonprofit that provides care packages for kids facing a life-altering illness and backpacks that police officers give to kids in crisis to comfort them.

>> Learn more about Joy in the Cause here

It's not just a few blankets. For the past three years, this 95-year old has been very busy.

"I have 3,340 that I have finished," she says.

Gerry Kennemer
Gerry Kennemer shows 2 News Oklahoma's Mike Brooks her sewing work.

Joy in the Cause provides the material and if needed, Kennemer uses her own money for supplies. It takes her about an hour to finish each blanket, but it's time well spent.

"Somebody showed me a picture, in the hospital with a little girl with one of my blankets sitting up in a hospital bed," she says.

"And that made it all worthwhile."

Now with six grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and one more on the way, Kennemer still finds the time to make blankets.

"As I finish each one I say, 'God bless the child that will receive this,'" she says.

Kennemer will continue as long as her hands allow because the "Positively Oklahoma" great grandmother has seen the good they can do.

"So you know if you can help somebody along the way, to me that's what God puts us here for."

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