Ladies from the Portuguese American Cultural Center and St. Elizabeth’s Ann Seton Church Team Up to Provide “Healing Blankets”

by: Maria Elizabeth Frazao Pereira

During the pandemic, the women members of the Portuguese American Cultural Center of Convívio dos Lavores decided to use this free time to do something for the good of others.

The ladies made 15 Afghans, which were donated to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, which has an organization that collects and distributes Afghans to comfort the sick.

This organization is called Lazos de Amor, or Healing Blankets, established about four years ago by John Merced after a priest asked him to provide small blankets to sick people admitted to hospitals at Christmas.

Blankets ready for blessing before they are distributed. Courtesy photo

Merced formed a group of volunteer members of the Hispanic American Club of Palm Coast, who began crocheting afghans. To date, Merced has distributed over 2,000 Afghans to the sick. From now on, the Afghans are not distributed only at Christmas, but throughout the year. Prior to being distributed, the Afghans were blessed at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church during the Spanish Mass and Ceremony on December 19, 2021.

Lavores members can continue to crochet as they are now part of the Lazos de Amor, helping people and organizations in the process of physical, spiritual and emotional restitution.

Pictured above: Some of the ladies from Convívio dos Lavores, bottom row, left to right: Maria Elizabeth Frazão Pereira, Elisete Carvalheiro, Jacinta Martins, Dina DeOliveira, Sara Ferreira, Virginia Cambedo, Maria Da Silva, Teresa Goulart , Vina dos Santos, Ester Rodrigues, Arminda Pereira, Gracinda França, Grace Pinto and Julia Silva; top row: Rosa Amaro and Odete Campo

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