MORGAN HILL, Calif. -- Kate Nelson has been crocheting Afghan blankets for 17 years, and she's been gifting them to people in need for just as long. "That's the kind of person I am. I love to do things for people. I've given a lot to places that are doing chemo and dialysis. It just fills my heart."
Nelson has also provided comfort to those affected by the coronavirus, like San Jose's Joanie Thomas.
"Back in March, my mother-in-law and my father-in-law both died of the COVID-19 virus," Thomas said. "My aunt also died and she is kind of like my mom to me."
Recipients agree that the simple gift of a crocheted blanket has helped them grieve and cope with the loss of their loves ones.
"I can't think of a nicer gift, I really can't. Flowers come and go, and I love flowers, but the blanket is forever," Thomas shares. "I think of it as the comfort blanket or the love blanket."
Nelson finds people in need by word of mouth. In most cases, she makes blankets for complete strangers.
"Even if I don't know those people, that's fine. I just know that they'll be happy to have one," Nelson explains. Nelson's gifts have touched the recipients more than she knows.
"It makes me feel really good because I know the joy and the happiness that they can bring," Nelson says.