Stuffed animals from Watts’ memorial transformed into blankets for kids in need

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Stitch by stitch, Judy Maxfield and Mel Casper spent their Friday afternoon finishing a project months in the making. After receiving a mountain of stuffed animals from the memorial for Shannan, Bella and Celeste Watts, they’ve finally turned every one into a blanket for kids in need.

Christopher Watts pleaded guilty to murdering his family last year.

“I’m a grandmother and I can’t imagine anything like that happening to my grandchildren, so it makes you feel like you have to do something,” Maxfield said. “When I first got them and emptied them out of the bag, I had them out here and opened the bag up and dumped them out, and I was in tears. It’s just very… it’s emotional.”

Now, all the rest of the stuffed animal-blanket hybrids will go to law enforcement and first responders, who will in turn give them to children impacted by traumatic events like house fires.

“A lot of them, kids donated,” Casper said. “Neighborhood children took something out of their room, off their bed and donated. So that’s kind of cool that kids can understand that [the animals] are moving to someone else’s house.”

Jessica Ridgeway’s family got in touch with the volunteers, requesting the same service. Maxfield says they’re happy to do it, hoping it will help that family heal, and help other children in the process.

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