A blanket may not seem like a big deal, but one Anchorage woman says it can be a good thing to hold on to when someone experiences a trauma. Denise Skonieczki is making several dozen personalized fleece blankets for the children who were left homeless by last month’s Royal Suite Lodge apartment fire.

“It’s to give them some warmth, and some love back from the community,” Skonieczki said. “Show them we care.”

Skonieczki is a mother and grandmother of eight. She said she’s seen some hard times herself, including a house fire. She didn’t lose everything, but her heart went out to those who did.

“There were lives lost and children injured,” Skonieczki lamented. “People were throwing their children out of three-story windows and that really wrenched at my heart. I had to do something.”

Skonieczki has a list of 30 children who weren’t allowed to return home following the Feb. 15 fire. That means a lot of blankets, each with the child’s embroidered name. She figures she’s spent a couple hundred dollars of her own money on materials.

“It’s been a little spendy, but to put a smile on a child’s face, I’d spend it all!” Skonieczki said.

She’s also had help from total strangers. When Skonieczki put the word out on Facebook about the project, people started dropping fabric at her door.

“I was so happy because I couldn’t have done this by myself,” she said. “The community helped me do it.”

Skonieczki is still in need of more fleece to finish the blankets. She invites people to check out her Facebook page, Creative Crafty Diva, and message if they can help.

KTVA 11’s Lauren Maxwell can be reached via email or on Twitter.

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