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Woman's generosity keeping community warm

A local woman, who has spent over 35 years crocheting blankets and beanies, has used this talent to help keep locals in need warm, as well as loved. Joy Duke, or "Grandma Joy," has been donating blankets and beanies that she crochets to local organizations. This year, she donated 36 blankets to the Carrington House in Shafter, with help from the Shafter Womans Club, who delivered them.

She regularly donates blankets as a part of the Shafter Woman's Club Christmas for Seniors. Duke said that she was living off of Santa Fe Way and a neighbor moved in next door that crocheted. She told Duke that she would teach her how to do it. Well, she bought a book on the subject and taught herself, and she has been going ever since.

When asked what made her decide to donate the blankets, she said, "Well, I was getting a lot of them and needed to do something with them. I thought I might as well give them to someone who might need it."

She also donates baby blankets to the Women's Pregnancy Center in Bakersfield, as well as beanies to the Bakersfield Mission. Duke said that she considers it therapy for her. "I love it. A person needs something to do to keep her mind working, and keep it from dwelling on all sorts of things. This is good therapy for me. I just love to do it."

Duke said that it keeps her mind sharp and her hands in good working order. She is 87 years old and lives in a retirement facility in Bakersfield, moving from her Santa Fe Way home around five years ago. "This kind of keeps me connected to Shafter since I don't get in there anymore," she said.


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