Woman donates handmade blankets to PRC Sheriff’s Department

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 17, 2015

blanket lady

On Wednesday Mary Cardinal donated blankets to the Pearl River County Sherriff’s Department. Cardinal, who has been making blankets for 70 years, is on a mission to craft blankets for all law enforcement officers across South Mississippi.

“I was making blankets for everybody in my church group in Oak Grove and one morning I was coming home from church, and I just felt the spirit telling me I had to make blankets for the deputies, and in 2009 I started making blankets for the deputies,” Cardinal said.

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Cardinal started in Lamar County and went on to give blankets to the Purvis Police Department, Sumrall Police Department and for the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

The crocheted blankets are crafted by Mary. Her husband, John, helps gather the materials and transport the blankets.

“My goal, if I live long enough, is to cover all South Mississippi. Right now we’re working on Pearl River County and I’m going to move on to Forrest County,” Cardinal said.

She said to date she has made “hundreds and hundreds” of blankets.

The entire Pearl River County Sherriff’s Department staff was extremely grateful for Cardinals gift.

“It means a lot to us. As you can tell by looking at the blankets, she’s a talented lady and we appreciate her time and her effort, the money she spent to do this for the department and it means a lot to the guys that citizens step up and show their appreciation and respect for the job our department does,” said Sheriff David Allison.

Allison also believes his department will put the blankets to good use this winter.

“Oh yeah, they’ll be used. Mary gave me one earlier on and I use it pretty regularly in cooler weather and some of the deputies already have some, and they say they use them as well. Not only just them, but their families too,” Allison said.

She averages two blankets a week and says that one blanket takes her up to 30 hours to complete. Although the work is time consuming, Cardinal says she enjoys the process of working on and dropping off the blankets.

“The smile and the hugs I get from the deputies are my favorite part.  It’s the most joy I’ve ever felt in all my life and I’m 75,” Cardinal said.