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Quilter Creates for Children in Poverty

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Photo Credit: Randy Tramp

Story originally published by The Yankton Daily.

Joyce Janssen spent a lifetime making quilts, but it wasn’t until 2009 that she felt a strong pull toward community service.

“I felt my mission was to make quilts for the children,” Joyce told The Yankton Daily.

For the last eight years, Joyce has made more than 245 quilts for children in Yankton’s Head Start program, a federally-funded service that focuses on providing educational, nutritional, and family support to children in poverty and children with disabilities.

With the help of her two daughters, Joyce purchased most of the fabrics for each quilt during Black Friday sales in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, each year. One quilt costs around twenty dollars to make when fabrics are purchased on sale, but the cost continues to grow because Joyce prefers to use flannels.

Joyce made an average of 30 quilts each year so that each child in the program could receive one. The children, and their families, are all grateful for the Joyce’s giving spirit, as she provides a feeling of comfort through her quilts. Unfortunately, costs have become too substantial and she is no longer able to continue with the program. Yankton’s Head Start, including Day Care Program Director and Nutrition Coordinator Michelle Mullen, will greatly miss her presence.

“We can’t thank Joyce enough for her time, efforts and love that she has put into each quilt and we wish her the best going forward.”