- Associated Press - Friday, December 23, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Elizabeth Evans seemed worried the blankets her Family and Consumer Science students made weren’t the right size, but the cats and dogs at Utah Animal Adoption Center loved them regardless.

“It doesn’t matter,” shelter dog lead Melissa Jolley said. “Every stitch was made with love.”

Evans has been working with her class of six ninth-grade FACS students at South Davis Junior High School all year, teaching them to sew blankets. Using Utah State University’s Outdoor Product Design and Development program as an example, Evans said sewing is definitely not a dying art form.

“It’s not a useless skill anymore,” she said. “It’s becoming more and more useful as the clothing industry expands. Even if they don’t sew, they have to know what quality workmanship is.”

Evans and her students dropped about 16 blankets off at the animal shelter Friday, Dec. 16, toured the facility and met the animals who will snuggle up to their creations.

“We have Chihuahuas that shudder in 90-degree weather, so this will be great,” Jolley said.

Dezi Gourley, one of the students, said being a cancer survivor has made her want to give back to others. On top of that, she happens to be pretty handy with a needle and thread and has made her own pajama pants, among other things.

“Sewing is actually a skill and a hobby,” she said. “Later in life someone might have a hole in their pocket or something; they could ask someone like me to sew it up instead of paying money.”

The students also sewed larger lap quilts that will be taken to the elderly inhabitants of the Life Care Center of Bountiful, reported the Standard-Examiner (https://bit.ly/2hmO4pG).

Recreation Director Robyn Manning said having young people come in with the blankets can help some residents with loneliness and depression. The blankets will go to those who have no family to visit them first and will be given out based on need after that.

“They’re great because a lot of our residents aren’t able to move around so they do get cold just sitting in a chair,” Manning said.

At the animal shelter, Evans‘ class held and stroked many of the cats who are temporarily living there. Shelter cat lead Holly Blackham knew all of their names and personalities.

While one cat rubbed up on her leg and another vied for her attention from a higher perch, student Jessica Akins said she took FACS because she likes to craft.

“I was pretty excited about this,” she said. “I love animals.”

The Utah Animal Adoption Center houses dogs and cats that would otherwise go on kill lists at county shelters when they get too full. Those interested in adopting or volunteering can call 801-355-7387. The Life Care Center seeks volunteers and donations year-round and can be reached at 801-295-3135.

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Information from: Standard-Examiner, https://www.standard.net


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