When Fire Station One needed quilts for its bunks, it didn’t have to look far.
Members of Loose Threads Quilters spent close to three months crafting handmade quilts for the firefighters at the Toano fire house. The quilting club, which draws most of its members from Colonial Heritage retirement community, donated the quilts to the first responders Monday.
“I thought it would be a wonderful idea since this particular fire station comes to our community quite a bit. So we wanted to show our appreciation to the fire department and this one especially,” Kaye McWhirter said.
McWhirter founded the group more than four years ago and now counts about 20 regular members.
The station was looking to buy some quilts, but volunteer Michael Powers, who is also a Colonial Heritage resident, knew of McWhirter’s club and suggested the group provide quilts. Powers serves as a public relations volunteer for the James City-Bruton Volunteer Fire Department, which operates out of the station alongside professional county fire department staff.
At first, the club intended to make just a couple quilts. But enthusiasm for the project was so great that the group ended up making 14 quilts featuring American flags and geometric patterns. The club members also sewed together a few pillow cases festooned with fire trucks.
“The ladies were just so generous,” McWhirter said. “My heart was just full.”
The retirement community and fire station have strong ties. Powers estimated the station responded to about 160 calls at Colonial Heritage last year. The station’s volunteers and career personnel also regularly lead seminars and classes on fire extinguisher usage, fire safety for seniors and other topics, Powers said.
“We’re in there quite often,” Powers said.
The quilts are a symbol of the enduring community bonds of the Toano area, James City Fire Department Captain Scott Day said.
“It’s great. It shows us the station is still part of the community,” Day said.
Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.