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Just a little something to hold

Noah's ark, race cars and fuzzy puppies will soon soothe children who have to leave their homes for their own safety. Members of Community Presbyterian Church in West Fargo have sewn fleece blankets or "cuddle ups" to give to Cass Cou...

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Noah's ark, race cars and fuzzy puppies will soon soothe children who have to leave their homes for their own safety.

Members of Community Presbyterian Church in West Fargo have sewn fleece blankets or "cuddle ups" to give to Cass County Social Services. The blankets will be given to children who are placed in foster care.

"Sometimes the children come with little or nothing besides the clothes on their back," said Kathy Suedel of Children and Family Services when she picked up the blankets. "To give them something to hold and keep may help ease any fears they have."

The congregation borrowed the idea from a church in Chandler, Ariz., that member Carol Braaten attends during the winter months. There volunteers sew quilts for the police and firefighters to carry in their vehicles.

The quilting group at Community Presbyterian considered the idea, but decided to make something fuzzier and quicker.

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An after-Thanksgiving fabric sale meant Carol Sterup could purchase 64 fleece panels for under $100.

"Every child needs a security blanket," said church member Marlys Martin.

Suedel said the county typically places six to 10 children in foster care each month. But last April that number soared to 34 children.

She said the blankets may be placed into a duffel bag that kids receive when they leave their homes in emergency situations. The duffel bag includes toys, a coloring book, pillow and other age-appropriate items.

"Imagine being yanked from your home," she said. "It's scary. Anything we can do to help is good."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erin Hemme Froslie at (701) 241-5534

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