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MPD Spreads the Warmth

The Madison Police Department (MPD) has started spreading the warmth again this winter season. The community room of the MPD's East District, 809 S. Thompson Drive, was piled high in blankets this morning for the official kick-off of "We've Gotcha' Covered." The campaign, now in its third year, is the brainchild of Mary Anne Thurber. The veteran Madison Police Officer recruited many Good Samaritans to knit, crochet, quilt, or donate hundreds of blankets. Officers will distribute them to citizens in crisis.

Last winter the need was greater than the number of blankets.

"It was 7:00 a.m., about two-degrees, and glare ice on John Nolen Drive when a driver with his six-year old daughter hit the ice while under Monona Terrace. He slid across the lane, head on into the concrete side where he was t-boned by another car. No one was hurt but the little girl was shaking like a leaf, and so was dad watching the powder from the airbags filling the car. I gave his daughter a Lands' End blanket and she snuggled into my back seat until mom came. I think mom could have used a blanket too, she was shaking so bad. The girl went with mom, but asked if she could keep this "great blanket?" Of course, I said "yes."

Officer Jean Papalia, Madison Police Department, February 13, 2008

"I was sent to a child abuse complaint involving two sisters who reside with a total of nine children all under the age of 13. While I was investigating, I found they had no bedding for the two floor mattresses that the kids were all sleeping on in the one bedroom apartment. I brought them six blankets … the next day … I found they had made up the dirty, stained mattresses with the blankets, and they were proud to show off their nice clean made-up beds to me!

Detective Maureen Wall, Madison Police Department, January 23, 2008

The Madison Police Department has many to thank for the opportunity to help those in need again this year:

Lands' End, Dodgeville, donated 300 new blankets.

Door Creek Church, 6602 Dominion Drive, donated more than 120 blankets.

The "Stacks for Love" group at Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 602 Everglade Drive, donated 27 handmade blankets thanks to hard work of members aging from nine to 92.


  • Mary Anne Thurber, 266-4238
  • Joel DeSpain, 266-4897