White Bluff’s “Critter Club”celebrates 20th anniversary

December 1, 2021

A group of ladies from White Bluff Chapel have been making handmade stuffed animals for children locally and all over the world for the past 20 years. They recently held a luncheon to celebrate the 35,900 “Critters” that have been donated since the club began the effort.

This is the 20th year for small handmade stuffed animals known as “Critters” to be made and delivered to children from the ladies at White Bluff Chapel.

Sandy Cannon invited ladies to meet in her home in 2001 to cut, sew and stuff these cuddly creations. The first stuffed animals were given to children passing through the emergency rooms in hospitals.

Critters became a local mission of the chapel and continue to be distributed to children who need a special smile or just a little healing comfort.

The knitting and crocheting group also makes special creations for senior adults who need scarves, caps for cancer patients and afghans. These items are made for individuals who receive Meals on Wheels, who are in nursing homes and independent living facilities. Flag afghans are also made for veterans in hospice.

The group is now meeting at Benji’s Coffee Shop every Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with the Lake Whitney Needle Arts Club.

This year, 1,600 Critters have been given to Whitney Family Medicine Clinic, Whitney and Hillsboro HealthNow Urgent Care, Hill Regional Hospital Emergency Room, Mission Hillsboro Medical Clinic, Child Protective Services, CASA, Texas Department of Health Services in Hillsboro, AMR Ambulance Service in Waco, Goodall-Witcher Clinic in Clifton and Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

Critters were also provided to First Baptist Church for Samaritan’s Purse shoe boxes and the Whitney food bank for distribution at Christmas.

During these 20 years, over 35,900 Critters have been given out in Vietnam, Honduras, Mexico and Africa and to the “ends of the earth.” Just this month, another one of the chapel’s missions, Wee Can Know in New Orleans, Louisiana, received Critters to share with children at Christmastime.

Mary Parish, the hospitality chair, catered the luncheon for 30 ladies celebrating 20 years. Sandy Cannon was present and shared an event from the past. The Critter group planted two 10-foot trees in front of the chapel and office door in memory of one of their ladies, Connie Burris. The beauty of these trees is still enjoyed by everyone.

Critters meet from 10 a.m. until noon on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month in the Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall. All ladies, even if they do not sew, are invited to come “stuff” and just enjoy visiting and fellowship. The last meeting of 2021 will be December 14.

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