Side by Side, Couple in 80s Crafts Quilts for Children in Need

By Jessica Brodie

GREER—One elderly United Methodist couple is using their golden years to give back and do rather than sit back and receive.

Ken and Joanne Lehman, longtime members of Ebenezer UMC, are in their 80s and are experiencing health difficulties. But over the past 15 years, they have pushed those cares aside and made nearly 1,600 quilts for children in need at Greenville’s A Child’s Haven. A Child’s Haven is a child treatment center that helps young children whose development has been delayed by limited resources, abuse or neglect; 70 percent of the children served there are in poverty.

Side by side at least four days a week, the Lehmans measure out and cut fabric blocks, then sew them into 44×60-inch quilts that are given to the children for nap time at the center.

“It’s one of the greatest things we’ve ever touched,” Ken Lehman says, squeezing his wife’s hand with a smile.

She nods, smiles back. “Oh, it’s so rewarding.”

Motioning to the dozen or more finished quilts stacked neatly in their living room, Ken shrugs. “We just get so much out of it. And we get so much out of working together.”

Dottie Leavengood, Ebenezer’s outreach ministries coordinator, said the Lehmans’ commitment to each other and to helping others is astounding.

“This is such an incredible endeavor for two people who could be sitting by and letting people do for them,” Leavengood said. “They just love people. They’re so tenderhearted.”

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