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Nela and Gavin Godwin

Blankets for Vets

By Michael Butler

Veterans Day was observed on Saturday. While Americans give thanks to those who have served, a Tallassee family is giving something else - blankets.

Nela Godwin and her son Gavin will be donating blankets to a veterans home in Clanton. It is part of a project put together by the Echota Cherokee Tribe, in which Nela and all her sons are members.

Gavin, who is 13, likes being a part of the Longhair Clan. "We get to vote on tribal matters," he said.

Nela said that there are approximately 100 members.

"It's a state recognized tribe," Nela said. "We're members of the Longhair Clan. I had an ancestor on the Henderson roll that goes back to around 1835 and an ancestor on the old immigrant's roll that goes back to 1817. You have to be able to document your lineage and geneology."

Nela and Gavin meet every two months with the Longhair Clan in Clanton. The group came up with the blanket project.

"The Longhair Clan has been working on the project for about three years now. This is the first year that we've been able to be involved in it. The veterans home is privately owned and privately funded. It does not receive any help from the Veterans Administration. They have about 24 residents."

The blankets are of fleece material.

"Tie blankets are what they're called because it's a no sew project. Last year, only about two ladies were able to make the blankets and unfortunately were not able to make enough for all the residents. They said the men fought over the blankets. This year, we would like to make one for every resident. We're trying to get them to the veterans by mid-December."

If anyone would like to assist or is interested in membership, they may contact Nela at 334-252-0615.

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