If you are looking for Norcross High School 10th-grader Maya Kelkar, chances are you'll find her crocheting.
She makes lap blankets for senior citizens with her own two hands, a labor of love that she donates to local seniors.
"I'm doing this to honor my great grandmother, Francis Long's, memory. She passed recently at 100 years old," said Maya. Kelkar's mother, Erin, wells up with tears of pride when speaking about her daughter. "[Maya] has had wonderful mentors," she said.
Kelkar says she would like to make between 10 to 15 lap blankets by the end of the year. Each 30-inch by 30-inch blanket is made up of smaller 5-inch by 5-inch or 10-inch by 10-inch crocheted or knit squares, sewn together so they will cover from the recipient's lap down to the knees.
She estimates that each blanket takes an average of 11 hours to complete if worked on by herself. Kelkar said thankfully that the community is helping her achieve her goals for these blankets by donating pre-crocheted or knit squares, though.
Kelkar, a 4.0 student who is also involved in color guard and is a member of the school's math team, was taught how to crochet by her father. She said she is also working on these blankets as a part of her Girl Scout "Gold Award," the equivalent of the Boy Scout "Eagle," which is the highest award given by the organization.
She said was inspired to pursue the lap blanket project after doing charity work for "Project Linus," a national charity that provides homemade blankets to children in need.
The blankets will be distributed through the Gwinnett County Senior Services. Kelkar hopes that she will be able to help with the distributions.
For more information on how to donate supplies or squares contact Maya Kelkar at email@example.com