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Winter Texan of the Week: Fran Mansfield

Mission Converted Texan Forms Quilting Group to Give Back to the Community

by Rocio Villalobos

When Eldorado Acres RV Park received a large donation of fabric, park resident and Converted Texan Fran Mansfield seized the opportunity to combine one of her favorite pastimes with helping those in need.

She created a quilting group, Caring and Sharing. In its first year, she and other volunteers from the Park were able to make 32 quilts for children in the community. Last year, the group grew, and they were able to complete 40 quilts. This year, they’re at 83 quilts and are expecting to have at least 100 by the new year.

As a small park with fewer than 150 sites, Mansfield said they are a tight-knit community, and she and her husband instantly made connections after relocating from Illinois. Most everyone from their park family helps with this project in some way.

“It’s a lot of caring people sharing their talents, women and men,” Mansfield said. “Even if they can’t sew, they’ll come help sandwich them. Some just donate money. If everyone does one thing, everything gets done.”

With the volume of quilts, the group will be making donations to the Mission Food Pantry, Child Protective Services, and a local foster-care organization.

“I don’t need to know who they are; that’s not important,” she said. “We just ask that the organizations ensure they’re given to people who need them. There are people without a place to live, sleeping in streets or cars, and our nights get very cold. We’re thankful to at least be able to provide them with the comfort of warmth.”

Mondays and Tuesdays are designated sewing days as a group, but many of the members take work home with them.

“You see some beautiful, creative people,” Mansfield said. “Last year, we had a few Winter Texans return to the Park with armfuls of quilts. There are five of us who sewed all year. COVID didn’t stop us. It’s a small park with a lot of giving people doing a wonderful thing.”

With the group continuing each year, Mansfield looks forward to being able to expand their reach to more community organizations.

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