Almost 5,000 children in foster care will receive handmade blankets thanks to members of Ohio Rotary Clubs.
Members of Ohio’s five Rotary districts provided blankets for 4,966 children in foster care in this year’s All-Ohio PETS Competition. Districts competed to provide the most blankets per capita based on District membership numbers.
District 6690, which includes central and southeast Ohio, came out on top. We are very grateful to the hundreds of Rotary Blanket Angels who made it possible for MVOB to provide comfort and love to so many children in foster care in Ohio.
PHOTO ABOVE: District 6690 Governor Price Finley holds the custom blanket tags MVOB prepared for the 2022 All-Ohio PETS Competition.
Members of the Circleville Noon Rotary Club hold blankets they made during the competition. They will be donated to Pickaway County CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, volunteers who represent children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
MVOB blankets are now making a difference in the lives of foster care alumni at the Emerge Emancipation Program in Xenia, Ohio. Emerge is a unique non-profit organization dedicated to helping young men and women leaving foster care.
The aim of the Emerge program is to help these youth take the right steps and make the right decisions and help them gain the skills necessary to make a safe and lasting transition into society and become self-sustaining, responsible citizens and community members.
Emerge provides a place where emancipated foster youth can reach their full potential through vocational training, life skills enrichment, and wrap-around services that include temporary housing at the Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative, a non-profit that runs the trade school.
That’s where your blankets come in! Each student will have a room of their own, and they can choose a blanket of their very own to add a personal touch to their bed and to keep as they start the next stage of their life.
Blanket Angels who live in the Xenia area can drop off blankets (only single bed size, please) at Emerge, 2960 W. Enon Rd., Xenia. Contact: Doris Edelmann, 937-572-7632.
Learn more about Emerge Emancipation Program
Many thanks to all who bought raffle tickets and to those who made and donated the beautiful quilts. We are grateful for your support through this fundraiser, helping us to provide love and comfort to children in foster care.
Congratulations to our winners: Linda Pace, Kelli Cawley, Karen Ballou, Melanie Gilbert and Dawn Brunkalla.
MVOB recently received a one by one grant from 4imprint that enabled us to order branded tote bags that we can give as thank you gifts to volunteers. The company included this story featuring My Very Own Blanket on their website.
That scenario is how many children enter foster care. Volunteers for My Very Own Blanket are dedicated to comforting children like Joey with a handmade blanket. And with tote bag giveaways, founder and CEO Jessica Rudolph can thank volunteers for the care and love they provide.
One blanket, lasting comfort
Often, children in foster care feel they’re not lovable or they’ve done something wrong. When these children receive a handmade blanket, it’s something tangible they can hang on to that provides a sense of security and belonging, especially because so many of them have very few things to call their own. MORE
Seven inmates at the Ohio Reformatory for Women have unique jobs making quilts for children entering foster care.
Jessica Rudolph recently visited these Blanket Angels to receive 20 blankets made by the group and talk with them about the importance of their work.
Michele Williams wrote about the visit for The Catholic Times.
Read her article here.
At a special event each year, the Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO) presents Rising Up & Moving On awards, recognizing older youth and young adults who, despite their past trauma and time in foster care, have demonstrated resilience and success in life and education.
The honorees receive handmade quilts made by MVOB Blanket Angels. "This is a great conference we have been involved in for YEARS," said MVOB's founder Jessica Rudolph. "We are very pleased to be able to contribute a gift for these exceptional young adults."
See videos made by the other awardees: • Hannah • Tyleq • Read about Mandione
Our new volunteer Kathie told us this touching story about how she heard about My Very Own Blanket.
Taylor, age 10, was a child in my fifth grade class. She brought in a very special blanket to show me that she received one night. She said the sheriff came at midnight to get her and her mother out of their apartment. Her mother said, 'Grab your hairbrush.'
The brush was all she had until the sheriff gave her a blanket from My Very Own Blanket. Taylor was so touched that a stranger made this for her. I could tell that it was well loved and used every night. What a treasure for a scared little girl! Thank you for all you do to help children in care feel loved!
We are very pleased that one of our blankets helped to comfort Taylor during a frightening time, and we welcome Kathie as a new Blanket Angel!
Here’s another story about the effect of one small blanket, sent to us by Lisa at the South Carolina Foster Parent Association.
We received a donation from you a year or so ago and used the blankets to add to duffel bags made up for children entering foster care.
Below is a picture of a little girl who received one of your blankets. She was a baby when she received it; she is now 2½. This blanket went with her to her "forever home," and she is still using it. Thank you for all that you do for our children!
We met Sharon recently when she visited the workshop to make a donation. Since it was her first visit, Jessica showed her around and asked how she heard about MVOB. Sharon told us this story and said we can share it with you:
Several years ago, after Sharon’s daughter passed away, her four teenage children were placed in foster care. Sharon wanted to care for them, but she lived in a small senior apartment, and the judge would not award custody to her. None of their other relatives were able to take them in.
Sharon was heartbroken to see her grandchildren enter foster care, so she gave up her apartment and found a house big enough for all of them. A month later, when the teens were reunited with her, they each had a MVOB blanket!
By the end of Sharon’s visit, she had volunteered to work on a project crocheting weighted blankets made from fleece blanket selvedges that we donate to Buckeye Ranch. We're grateful that Sharon shared her story with us.
MVOB has provided 55 blankets so far to former foster youth who are moving into Columbus Scholar House III, affordable housing for youth, ages 18-24, who have aged out of the foster care system and are pursuing full-time higher education and maintaining at least a 2.5 overall GPA.
Scholar House III, built by the City of Columbus and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, is located a mile away from Columbus State and includes 30 fully furnished apartment units. Our contact, Gabriella, works for Urban Strategies, Inc., who operates the Scholar Houses. Gabriella distributes the blankets to the new residents. We are thrilled to be able to help former foster youth as they pursue educations and independence.
In this video from ABC-6 TV, Ka’Marr, former foster youth and current Columbus State student, talks about his journey, goals, and what it means to have a place to call home.
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