20+ Years, hundreds of volunteers, thousands of blankets
As you can see from this photo, members of the Leap of Faith Dance Company in Westerville, Ohio are big supporters of MVOB.
My Very Own Blanket started in 2000 with one woman knitting one blanket, to be donated to a child in foster care. (Jessica Rudolph tells her story here.) Today, our work involves hundreds of volunteers and thousands of blankets -- the goal for this year is 20,000. Here are some mementos and milestones from the journey.
Jessica began in 2000 by recruiting friends and family to make blankets. Her goal was to give away 12 blankets; by the end of the year she collected 87 blankets. To track them, we used an Ohio map copied from a book and colored in the counties where we gave the blankets, Delaware and Seneca. Just 2 years later, we were able to give blankets to children in nearly 30 counties. In 2018, thanks to our volunteer blanket angels, we were able to give 15,016 blankets. In 2019, our mission has grown to reach farther into Ohio and to 16 other states, with a goal of 20,000 blankets.
Those blankets are now being counted using a computer with a big screen display. Blanket makers press a big blue button once for each blanket they donate, and they watch the total increase on-screen.
Our first communications were printed on paper and sent to supporters by U.S. mail. We gradually transitioned to our current e-newsletter, which is sent to more than 2,000 people, and this website. We still do have a brochure and other printed promotional material created by other talented volunteers.
My Very Own Blanket was featured in several local newspapers in 2000, and Jessica became known as The Blanket Lady.
Below are the mastheads of some of the newspapers that printed an article about MVOB, plus a typical article from one of them.