MANSFIELD — Shirley Godbee is keeping local veterans warm, one blanket at a time.
Godbee, a lifelong resident of Mansfield, started sewing fleece blankets for vets at the VA Illiana Health Care System in Danville two years ago. Since that time, she has made 87 blankets to date.
"I love to sew. God has given me the gift to sew and I enjoy it," Godbee said.
In addition to blankets, Godbee has made 8,000 baby gowns for missionaries and hats for cancer patients.
Godbee's efforts to help local veterans haven't gone unnoticed. For a second year in a row, Godbee received a check from the American Legion Riders Post 210 in Danville to help cover the cost of fabric.
About half the members of the Legion Riders drove their motorcycles from Danville to Godbee's house in Mansfield last Sunday to hand-deliver a $350 check.
Jim Hopper, director of the Legion Riders, said after they heard about Godbee making the blankets at her own expense, they wanted to find a way to help support her.
"This shouldn't be going unrewarded," Hopper said. "We think she's pretty special."
Godbee started making the blankets because she wanted to help veterans in the area. She called the VA hospital in Danville and asked if she could donate handmade blankets for the patients.
Shirley Seets, a close friend of Godbee, said she is dedicated to the cause.
"She puts a lot of care and thought into the fabric she chooses," Seets said.
Godbee is modest when it comes to taking credit for her good works. "(The veterans) are the ones who need to be thanked," she said.
But Godbee will admit, she loves what she's doing.
"I intend to do it until the day I die," Godbee said.
Godbee also received a $100 donation from the Mansfield American Legion Post 650.