Labor of Love: A local woman finds her passion during the pandemic

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — COVID-19 continues to dramatically change how we live our lives. For 90-year old Janet Breeden, it was an opportunity to help others.

Janet Breeden had plenty of time on her hands, she just needed plenty of yarn. She was home alone with the exception of a few four legged friends. Breeden says she is making the most of it, “I love to look out and see God’s creation.”

Breeden’s home on the range sits on the edge of the city on a few acres. This was her refuge during the toughest days of the pandemic.

“I couldn’t go to bible study,” said Breeden. “I couldn’t go to church and that’s what I missed most.

Staying home and staying safe. An easier task thanks to her animals. Janet has plenty of company out back with four horses and one mule. They are not the best house guests, but luckily she has Bitsy.

Breeden met her best friend at a pet adoption event on Aug. 23, 2014. They have been bosom buddies since day one. This five pound pooch never leaves Breeden’s side. Turns out they both like the Cowboys, Andy Griffith reruns, and Bonanza. They may not go on as many adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons, but they do all right.

Breeden and Bitsy recently found themselves with plenty of time on their hands. A love of knitting that Breeden picked up in 1964 suddenly sounded like a good way to pass a few hours.

Janet Breeden loved to knit and loved people, she figured putting the two together would be a great way to pass time.

“I love people and I guess that’s my driving force,” said Breeden. “God loved me with all of my flaws and surely I couldn’t do anything less than love other people.”

It did not take long for Breeden to figure out where to focus her time. She wanted to help the least of these, the abused, the homeless, and the forgotten.

“If you think no one cares, how lonely and helpless that feels,” said Breeden.

Being lonely hits close to home for Breeden, she lost her husband Melvin in 2003. He was a decorated veteran, a dedicated husband, and devout donor.

Giving was part of their family, something Breeden was happy to carry on. She just needed the yarn.

Breeden’s family friend, Ken Danner, delivered. He called Janet and told her he had won 96 bundles of yarn in an auction.

With yards and yards of yarn and quarantine time to spare, Janet Breeden went to work.

“I was knitting up a storm,” said Breeden.

The first 50 scarves were donated to the homeless at the City of Refuge.

“I would be working on it and I’d think, I wonder who will be wearing this to protect them from the cold,” said Breeden.

The next special delivery was to The Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center.

Breeden smiles when she talks about the people who ended up with one of her scarves, “If I could have knitted I love you into each one of them, I would of.”

From skeins of yarn, to stacks of scarves, prayerfully perfected, crafted for strangers she would never meet.

When it was all said and done, Janet made 100 scarves for the community.

Why did she stop at 100?

“I ran out of yarn,” said Breeden.

Breeden’s work is far from finished. Her next divine delivery came before this story even aired.

The group from Hoyl Financial heard about Janet Breeden’s generosity and decided to drop off several more bags of yarn. So it’s back to work for Breeden.

If you are struggling through this pandemic and the isolation gets to be too much, Breeden says to focus on others.

“Do what you can do,” said Breeden.” “If you think about yourself all the time, you don’t have time or inclination. If you start thinking about others, this time has past.”

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