EDITORIAL: Crocheted creations a comfort to vets

York Dispatch
  • Classic heroism: Officer pulls man from burning home.
  • Spring Grove High School alumni/entrepreneur aids in fundraising.

Thumbs Up: To Janet Clark, the Dover Township woman who took her award-winning talent for crocheting to a new level to help others.

Surrounded by 30 afghans she crocheted, Janet Clark  poses at her Dover Township home Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. Clark, who has been crocheting since the 1960s, will soon donate the afghans  to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Amanda J. Cain photo

She's been crocheting since the late 1960s, when a neighbor showed her how. Janet, 83, used to give the afghans away to family and friends, but she enjoys using her craft to help veterans now.

It started after her husband, Bud, visited the VA Medical Center in Lebanon and noticed a need for afghans. He suggested to Janet that they donate several of the items she had already crocheted. They donated 30 afghans.

Janet Clark, of Dover Township, smiles while crocheting an afghan square for a new throw Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. Clark, who has been crocheting since the 1960s, will soon donate 30 afghans she made to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Amanda J. Cain photo

"My neighbor said, 'How can you give those away?'" Janet Clark said. "I told her, 'Because that's the point!'"

Soon came a call from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, requesting a similar donation. Janet got to work, and she and Bud, a veteran himself, are set to deliver 30 to the center this month.

Dover woman crochets afghans for veterans

Janet said she loves the fact the the articles make a poignant keepsake to families after their loved ones have passed.

"People should use their talent and use it for a good purpose, and I don't think there's any better purpose than the veterans,” she said.

Thumbs Up: To Southern Regional Police officer Officer Michael Miller, who is credited with saving the life of a man he pulled from a burning home.

Southern Regional Police Officer Michael Miller
(Photo courtesy of Police Heritage Museum)

Miller and another officer arrived at the burning New Freedom home before firefighters. They heard a person was still in the home, and Miller called out to that person. Miller's yelling woke the late-middle-age man, and Miller instructed the man to crawl toward the sound of his voice, police said.

When it became apparent the man had become disabled from the smoke in the structure, Miller went in.

"All it takes is a couple breaths of that toxic smoke to knock you out," Chief Jim Boddington said.

For years, Miller volunteered with New Freedom's Rose Fire Co., the chief said, "so he knows how dangerous this is."

Police: Officer saved New Freedom man from burning home

Miller somehow found the man amid the thick smoke and dragged him outside. The man was treated for smoke inhalation on the scene.

"(Miller is) certainly going to be recognized by the department," Boddington said. "We're quite proud of him."

Thumbs Up: To Rob Weaver, owner of Black Squirrel Primitives, who is working with Spring Grove School District offering handmade signs as a fundraiser for any groups at the school that were interested.

Rob Weaver, of West York, runs the CNC engraving machine on a new sign Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, at Black Squirrel Primitives in Spring Grove. Black Squirrel Primitives, which is a family owned business made signs for a Spring Grove fundraiser and are looking to do more work for organizations needing signs for fundraisers.  Amanda J. Cain photo

The Spring Grove alumnus is donating a percentage of student-generated sales to various organizations within the school.

"Local businesses and the small businesses (are) the life-blood of the school," Lisa Smith, the district’s community relations coordinator, said. "That’s how public schools are funded, so if we are living on that tax base, it’s important that we support that part of our community by supporting those businesses."

Former student helps fundraiser for Spring Grove

Weaver makes the items that are perfect for a fundraiser, since the signs can be personalized and regionalized. Spring Grove's signs included saying such as "Go Rockets" and "Spring Grove Rockets," but there were other signs that read "Family is forever" and "More coffee."

"Our shop is in Spring Grove, and I grew up in Spring Grove all my life," Weaver said. "When we feel that we can give back to the community ... it feels really good."