March 9, 2009 – It may be a new type of outreach program for Lebanon's First Assembly of God Church, but it's one that shows they reach out to all of God's creatures. As several ladies and young ladies gathered at the church on Saturday, Donna Vargo, director of the Faith in Action Outreach Program for the facility, said, "We are here today to crochet blankets for the dogs and cats housed at the New Leash On Life building. "We feel that besides offering warmth and comfort for the animals, it will allow colorful interiors to their cages or crates that will help increase the urge in people to adopt an animal," said Vargo. "We hope to have at least 15 blankets to take to them over the next couple of weeks." Vargo has been crocheting for years and operates a business from her home called Doggie Dress Up where she makes blankets and dog coats/dresses for sale at flea markets, Bark in the Bark, etc. Of the group of ladies that showed up with their daughters or granddaughters, only one woman knew something about crocheting. The others all wanted to learn and participate in the program, so the gathering became a classroom where the art of crocheting was taught. Vargo furnished yarns of all different colors, letting each participant pick her color. She told them worsted weight, acrylic based yarn was the best for the blankets and a #5 needle was the best size to use on this article. She said the first thing they had to learn was to make a slip knot. "Just so you know, we have two weeks to finish the blankets, so don't get discouraged in any way," Vargo said. As she taught them to make a chain stitch, things would get quiet as the ladies concentrated on making their chains and then a squeal or two would sound out as one realized how long her chain was getting and she was actually crocheting. Vargo then taught them to count their stitches and some had to actually unravel some to arrive at the number 50 where they would turn and start on the second row. Diane Little and her granddaughter, Tiffany Bogle, 12, were the first ones to arrive. Neither of them knew how to crochet, but were looking forward to learning and to making blankets. Heather Maynard came in next, admitting she knew nothing about the art, but was there to help out at the church and help the animals in any way she could. Her chain of stitches got longer and longer. Anessa Corbin brought in her daughters, Haylee, 9, and C. J., 18. They all three picked up rather quickly. Gloria Brown ended up guiding and advising since she had some background in crocheting. She had brought a smaller needle with her and said she would switch to a larger one to make her blankets. So, within two weeks, New Leash On Life should have some brightly colored blankets to line the animal's cages. As to First Assembly of God's next program, Vargo says, "We are just starting this type of outreach program, so we don't know what next month's will be, but I'm sure it will be interesting and a help to some of God's creatures somewhere." Vargo's husband, Rich, explained that they go beyond dressing dogs and keeping them warm and comfortable with blankets. "We have adopted five dogs, ranging from a two pound poodle to a 200 pound Pyrenese, who by the way, is the only one one that actually earns his keep because he tends the goats for us."