Sometimes good things take time to come together
Sometimes good things take a little time to come together. Here's a story connecting our Blanket Angels…
One of our Blanket Angels, Bridget, turned 90 years old in July. This amazing woman has been making quilts for us for some time. Bridget was asked to make quilts from some very special fabric that was given to us a couple years ago by a mother who cared for her daughter with severe medical issues.
A little more than sixteen years ago Kerri was a college student, in the ROTC program, and engaged to be married. She became ill, which resulted in brain damage that made her completely dependent on others. Her family took her home to care for her. The doctors told her mother, Karen, that seeing holiday reminders would possibly help stimulate Kerri's brain.
Kerri's Grandma, also wanting to be able to help, started making hospital gowns out of colorful fabrics for her. They were pretty and cheerful, and they matched the holidays throughout the year. There were gowns for July 4th, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, so many holidays and so many prints with vibrant colors!
After 13 years of caring for her daughter, Karen and her family lost Kerri. Karen then went to work finding charities and others in need who could use Kerri’s medical equipment and supplies and, yes, the hundreds of gowns that were possibly worn for just a week as Kerri lay in her bed or sat in a chair. Karen contacted My Very Own Blanket with the thought that making quilts out of these fabrics for children in foster care would have pleased Kerri. So she gathered up the gowns and donated them. There were over 400 gowns.
Bridget made several quilts out of those gowns. We saved a few for this special day when Bridget came in for us to celebrate her birthday at the blanket workshop. As a special surprise we invited Karen to also come in to see the blankets and meet Bridget. As you can imagine, there were tears when Karen saw the quilts and met the amazing woman who made them. Bridget went around to the quilts and explained a little about her thought process for designing each quilt. As Bridget explained everything, Karen was touching the fabric and remembering each piece that Kerri wore.
What a special birthday celebration it was! Happy birthday, Bridget! And thank you Karen for sharing a little piece of Kerri with us…to pass on to children in foster care, providing them with a handmade blanket to bring them Love, Comfort & Hope.
Congratulations to Seth Miller on becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest rank a Scout can achieve. Among many other requirements, an Eagle Scout must plan and execute a service project that benefits a religious institution, school, or their community.
Seth chose to sponsor and organize the creation of 92 handmade blankets for My Very Own Blanket. He recruited Dublin Special Olympics participants to help make the blankets. Thank you, Seth, for your support!
California Blanket Angels deliver 42 more!
Our active group of blanket angels in the Los Angeles area, led by Diana Howe, have made and delivered 42 more handmade blankets to Youth Emerging Stronger, a Los Angeles organization working to build bright futures for foster and homeless youth.
This delivery brings their total donations this year to 69, and Diana is planning another blanket making party in July! We are blessed by this wonderful group of blanket angels in California.
The photos below show the blanket making party and delivery of the blankets.
Largest volunteer event ever? JP Morgan Chase employees make blankets at the zoo
My Very Own Blanket was one of four charities included in JP Morgan Chase's Family Appreciation Night at the Columbus Zoo on Saturday, May 11. Hundreds of volunteers from the group of about 20,000 employees and their families stopped by the MVOB booth to make a blanket and add their name to the special tag that is sewn on each one.
MVOB is still compiling the final number of blankets made, but we know that over 600 blankets were added toward our 2019 goal of 20,000 blankets.
The event, and MVOB's part in it, were featured on a Fox 28 news broadcast on Saturday night. Click the link below to read the complete article from abc6onyourside.com and to see more photos and a video of the news broadcast.
The photos above show the wonderful selection of quilts from which Tina and Shelly chose. Thanks to our blanket angels! Video below.
On May 6, Tina Green and her colleague Shelly, Montgomery County WWK (Wendy’s Wonderful Kids) recruiters, visited our Blanket Workshop to pick out some of the larger youth blankets for the youth in foster youth attending their camp. They talk with MVOB founder, Jessica Rudolph, below.
Tina told us in more detail about who will attend the WWK camp, what they will be doing and how our work will make such a beautiful impact in the lives of children in foster care!
"We have four Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruiters in Montgomery County. We take 14 youth from our caseloads that we feel need to prepare for adoption or permanency. Our youth are ages 12 to 17 years. We attend Camp Joy for 4 nights/5 days.
The youth attend adoption readiness class where we talk about past trauma, fears of adoption, the adoption process and goals for their future. Many of our youth have many different feelings regarding adoption and do not know the whole process. Along with getting information, our youth meet new friends who are in the same situation and have the camp experience.
Many times our youth do not come to camp with blankets or pillows even though their caregivers were told to pack them. We truly appreciate your help in providing blankets to our youth.”
A BIG Thank You to Generations Performing Arts Center in Westerville for supporting MVOB again this year with your donation of 260 blankets!
This is their 7th annual blanket drive and their biggest-ever donation. It's a big boost to help us reach our goal to give LOVE to 20,000 kids and youth in foster care this year!!!
The Westerville Bike Club came into the MVOB workshop on April 18 for a Blanket Making Event, sponsoring and making 17 blankets...getting us closer to our blanket giving goal!
They also made a donation of $500 to help us continue our mission and ministry to children in foster care!
Many thanks to these wonderful supporters.
Blanket Angel Coordinators are people who reach out to us asking how they can bring MVOB into their area. We encourage them to start making handmade blankets and we will supply blanket labels and information about how to get started right where they are. We help them make contact with local children's services organizations where they can donate their blankets. We are blessed by these supporters who help foster children who live far from Ohio, and we are thrilled to hear from them about the blankets they have created.
We were very pleased recently to hear from one of our Blanket Angel Coordinators, Char Shepard, who lives in Idaho. She wrote that she was able to donate 28 blankets in nearby Lincoln County, Wyoming!
We are fortunate to have faithful supporters all over Ohio, but we also have made connections with people like Char in other states who have reached out to bring My Very Own Blanket to their area such as Idaho, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Alaska!
The five Ohio Rotary Districts recently held a friendly competition to sponsor blankets for MVOB. The competition culminated at Rotary's All-Ohio Presidents-Elect training seminar (P.E.T.S) on March 8-9 at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Columbus.
The All-Ohio P.E.T.S. service project resulted in a total of 3,400 blankets for children in foster care. WOW!! Congratulations to District 6650. Pictured above is MVOB's Jessica Rudolph surrounded by the donated blankets. Thank you, Ohio Rotary Club members!
We usually don’t see the final destination of the blankets you make, but sometimes we receive a story that gives us a first-hand account of the impact that a blanket can make on the life of a child – and on the life of a foster family. This is such a story, written by a foster mother.
As a foster parent, I can personally attest to what a wonderful blessing it is for not only the foster kids to receive a blanket and/or personal hygiene items, but also for the foster families. Over the last 6 years, we have been blessed with having 19 children in our home ages 4 weeks to 16 years.
The story of their arrival is almost always the same:
The children are usually removed from their living environment at the end of the school day, when they are called to the guidance counselor’s office. Children’s Services is there to take them. When they left that morning for school, they usually had no idea that they wouldn’t be going home that evening. We usually get the call that they are coming sometime in the afternoon. By the time the paperwork is processed, they arrive at our home around dinner time. It is usually a very hectic night in our household.
We scramble to change our dinner plans; we always serve pizza for the first night of foster care. I make a mad dash to the store to buy essentials – hairbrush, toothbrush, shampoo, deodorant, underwear, pajamas, t-shirts, socks, etc. I make up their beds and rearrange our 4 kids to get the beds and genders in the right rooms. We joke that we play musical bedrooms.
Once a 13-month old baby arrived from Children’s Hospital wearing only a hospital t-shirt. But I nearly cried when we also received a bag with a bottle, diapers, formula, a clean outfit and a handmade blanket. This meant that I didn’t have to run to the store to buy these items, and the first day was so much more peaceful. We felt so blessed that someone realized our need.
Even for the older kids, a blanket is important. It is something they can claim as their own when they come to our house when they have literally lost everything that is dear to them. It is also a source of comfort.
Thank you for supporting this effort.
MVOB partners with My Stuff Bags, My Comfy Kits and Comfort Cases, organizations that provide personal care items, basic clothing, toys, books and a blanket packed in a backpack or duffel bag that the child can keep on their journey through the foster care system.