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‘Angels’ deliver gifts

AHOSKIE – When the weather outside is “frightful,” it’s always a good idea to wrap up in warm hats and scarves and blankets. Residents at some local senior care facilities recently enjoyed gifts of warm winter accessories thanks to some angels.

More specifically, “Charleen’s Angels.”

The angels, a group usually consisting of about 15 people led by Charleen Harrell, meet twice a week at the Hertford County Office of Aging to crochet a variety of items. At the end of the year, they take the fruits of their labor and distribute them to local nursing homes.

“All year long we get together and we crochet for this purpose,” Harrell explained.

Members of “Charleen’s Angels” prepare to hand out gifts during their visit last week to Ahoskie Assisted Living. Staff Photo by Holly Taylor

This year she said they made 100 hats and scarves and 13 lap blankets for residents. Some went to Guardian Care on Friday, Dec. 13 and others to Ahoskie Assisted Living (formerly Pinewood Manor) on Monday, Dec. 16. This is the third year they’ve gathered together to spread Christmas cheer through the handmade gifts.

The group spent time Monday morning passing out presents at Ahoskie Assisted Living as they chatted with residents and helped several model their new clothing accessories. The group also sang a few Christmas hymns together, joined in by the onlooking crowd as the voices filled the whole room. There was also a brief encouraging spiritual message as well.

“It brings a lot of joy into their lives,” said Ahoskie Assisted Living Administrator Catie Armstrong. “The residents look forward to the holiday season because they know people are going to come in and volunteer their time.”

Armstrong said many of their residents have family that lives far away and several are not able to leave the facility on their own, so volunteers are always welcome to come and spend some time there.

“We had an awesome time,” Harrell said after all the presents had been distributed. “It has been a blessing to me.”

“It makes me feel good to help somebody else, those that can’t help themselves,” said Nettie Brickers, one of the “Angels” group.

Fellow angel Barbara Overton recalled the smiles on people’s faces, saying, “it’s the little things that make you really appreciate what you’re doing. It’s worth it.”

The group, which has been together about four years now, is very close-knit. They all said they have a good time getting together, not only to work on their craft but to talk and catch up with each other.

“We just have a good time when we’re together,” Harrell said. “We learn from each other, cry for each other, pray for each other.”

And with the gifts safely delivered, they’ll soon be ready to start all over again, crocheting and knitting the materials together to create something warm for next season.

Charleen’s Angels meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Hertford County Office of Aging in Winton. Yarn and monetary donations are welcome. For more information, call 252-358-7856.