MISSION, Kan. -- Police in the metro are on the receiving end of a church group's kindness, and their handiwork.
They’re honoring local police in a very personalized way. It’s a practice that began with two heartbreaking losses.
Every time the church quilting room at Countryside Christian Church in Mission gets busy, police officers in the metro are part of the plan. The ladies quilting ministry at the church is dedicating its handmade products to police in the metro, creating 13 personalized quilted wall hangings given as gifts to local law enforcement agencies.
Once per week, this team of quilters assembles, spending much of their energy piecing together handmade blankets with fabric squares and thread.
“Every quilt we make is usually 45 by 54,” Janis Grace, a member of the quilting group, said.
Grace, who once received a similar quilt during her fight against cancer, says the idea occurred to her when tragedy hit. The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department lost two officers this summer, when Det. Brad Lancaster and Capt. Dave Melton were both shot in the line of duty.
“They risk their lives every day for those of us who live in the communities. They can just use prayers,” Grace told FOX 4 News on Tuesday morning.
Every quilt includes a series of strings tied into knots, each of which represents a prayer for safety, as well as the receiving police department's shoulder patch.
“We really have joy creating something we hope will be uplifting to people who need a little uplifting,” Linda McConwell, another quilter, said.
The ministry is touching the hearts of law enforcers. Just ask Shawnee Police Chief Rob Moser, who received one of the group’s 13 quilts on Tuesday morning. Chief Moser says police always enjoy these shows of support.
“It doesn't always get the loudest voice, but we've seen demonstrations like this all summer long and throughout the year. We're seeing it across the county and across the country,” Chief Moser said.
Grace says most of the police departments receiving the quilts display them in areas enter and leave the buildings. That's so cops on the streets will know they're supported even as they're coming and going.
The church's quilting ministry has produced over 200 quilts in all, with 13 of them dedicated to local police. Most are awarded as gifts when new babies are born or a church member passes away.
Grace says she survived her fight with breast cancer, and is now in remission. She and the other quilters also presented a blanket to the Roeland Park Police Department on Tuesday.