The Utica Public Library is collecting fleece to make blankets for the animals at the Humane Society of Macomb in Shelby Township. The library now is planning two dates for volunteers to make knot blankets, as the library received more donations than it expected.

The Utica Public Library is collecting fleece to make blankets for the animals at the Humane Society of Macomb in Shelby Township. The library now is planning two dates for volunteers to make knot blankets, as the library received more donations than it expected.

Photo provided by Katherine Francis


Library receives huge response to animal shelter blanket initiative

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published April 8, 2019

UTICA — The Utica Public Library and the community recently came together to gather fleece donations for the benefit of local shelter animals ahead of a planned date to make blankets to give to the animals.

The library received enough fleece to make 100 blankets so far — far more than expected.

The library, located at 7530 Auburn Road, is collecting donations now and looking for more volunteers to make blankets for animals in need at 1 p.m. June 25 during the library’s summer reading program, and probably another date due to the overwhelming response in donations of fleece.

The blankets will be donated to the Humane Society of Macomb in Shelby Township for dogs and cats to sleep on while they look for their forever homes.

Library Director Marsha Doege said that the fleece collection was a big success.

“The fleece collection was outstanding! We’re so excited by the community response!” Doege said via email.

She also said that donations from the community have kept on coming.

“We are thrilled and touched by the response to our request for fleece, and by the number of people who also volunteered to help make and assemble the blankets. Such support for the Humane Society and the library is truly heartwarming. And how well it speaks of our community and the many wonderful people who live here, that the response was quick and without reservation.

“This will be a great opportunity to show the young readers who participate in the final assembly what a community can do when we pull together for a common cause,” said Doege.

For those who still want to donate, the library is accepting donations of unused fleece into April in order to give itself plenty of time to prepare for the June program. The library is asking for new or unused fleece material no smaller than 36 inches by 48 inches.

Anyone will be able to help make fleece knot blankets. All that is required to make the blankets is tying pieces of the fleece together.

Katherine Francis, the children’s services coordinator at the Utica Public Library, who organized the project, said that the library received a huge response from the public.

“The article (from the Shelby-Utica News March 18) is what really got us the most donations. We have received enough fleece to make around 100 blankets (and 30 was my goal), and the fleece is still coming in!” Francis said via email.

She is leading the preparations in advance of the blanket assembly.

“We are looking to do the blanket craft on two different days (now), since we have enough fleece. I’m still in the process of cutting it all and will soon have a group of high school kids to help me prep them for the craft. I have some helpers that have taken some fleece home to help pre-prep, and the fleece here is in separate piles, as I’m doing cutting in stages since there’s so much fleece,” Francis said.

For more information on the project or to donate, call the library at (586) 731-4141.