Sparkt Bridges

Comforting First Responders One Stitch At A Time

One woman's idea to recognize and comfort injured first responders she'll never meet, grows into an effort that now includes like-minded women from across the country.


This story is part of a bi-weekly series that celebrates people who are reaching across a divide to "build bridges" with those different from themselves. The Sparkt Bridges series is made possible with the support of UPMC.

Diane Huggins of Burgettstown, PA was just a girl when she developed a profound awe of first responders. She loved the pageantry of the uniforms and flashing lights in community parades. Then, first responders were there for her family during a tragedy.

So it was only natural that, when she learned how many men and women (and K-9s) are injured each year on the job, she would turn to her favorite hobby -- crocheting -- to comfort them. She told me it doesn't matter that she and the others who have joined her may never meet their heroes. Watch my story to find out on why she does it and hear her amazing philosophy behind each stitch.

As of this writing, " Covering the Blue " has more than 50 members who have distributed more than 460 lap-sized blankets or "covers" as they call them, to wounded or injured first responders in states from California to Maine. Although she's gotten dozens of heart-felt notes of thanks, pictures and patches in return, that's not why she does it.

"That bond is there whether you know them or not." Diane Huggins, founder, Covering the Blue

Diane and her volunteers pay for the yarn out of their own pockets, or with donations of royal blue and black yarn and monetary donations.

If you'd like to help:

  • Credit card donations : click here to go to the Covering the Blue donation page.
  • Check donations : mail a check made out to "JTHS-Covering the Blue" to the Jefferson Township Historical Society, Box 383, Burgettstown, PA 15021.
  • Yarn donations : e-mail Diane at dhuggins2@verizon.net. They especially need Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo (must be royal blue or black).

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