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.
Students in Ohio State University’s 2021 SpringForward summer enrichment program participated in this Zoom event and created 34 blankets for MVOB. Normally this is a residential program with in-person classes held during the summer after students complete their first year. This summer the program is completely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These are students from across the country who began at Ohio State in autumn 2020 and are taking summer classes and participating in events such as this one that work to build community, foster connections, and develop as Ohio State students.
Thanks to OSU and the SpringForward program for providing hope and love for children in foster care.
We are grateful to Erika, a former foster child who found us through a volunteer program sponsored by her employer, Chase Bank, for sharing a little of her story with us. Erika, her family, and her Chase family are now MVOB Blanket Angels!
I was placed in foster care at an older age, 13. I had nothing personal of my own. My Very Own Blanket means so much to me because I know the feeling of not having anything of my own in a new home. This will give foster kids something of their own that was crafted with care and a hope that things will get better.
It means even more to me that these blankets will be donated to the very organization where I was placed, in my own county where it all began!
I was very fortunate and pushed for a better life after I was out of the system. I wish that when I was placed someone would have given me a blanket to hold tight through my first night! This is something that is so close to my heart and that I can share my experiences with my own children to get involved in for years to come!
My family has ordered blanket kits and are working on them! My Chase family has been generous enough to make blankets as well to help support me on this journey! I'm hoping to do this every year from this day forward! Thank you for all that you do and all that you stand for. Erika
Loretta Ballenger, 1926 - 2021
By Jessica Rudolph
Here is the obituary for a very dear and longtime Blanket Angel who is now our Heavenly Blanket Angel!
I first met Loretta standing in line at the Post Office. I talked to her about MVOB and how I got started. I saw her next at a blanket making event I was leading at my children’s elementary school. I asked her if she had grandchildren who went to the school and she said “No, I was just so inspired with what you told me about the mission of the organization, when I saw this event in the paper, I wanted to come and be a part of it.”
She volunteered for years with us every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am - 3 pm, sandwiching blankets in our little Blanket Workshop, helping with speaking events, training new volunteers, helping run our many Blanket Workshops as we moved from different locations, sorting & organizing fabric, sewing tops and finishing blankets at home, among so many other ways she gave of her time, talents and treasures!
JPMorgan Chase branches in Houston and San Antonio, Texas recently sponsored a blanket-making event for employees. JPMC purchased our no-sew fleece blanket kits, paid for shipping to employees' homes. Their employees responded by making 250 blankets for children in foster care in their areas.
We recently heard from one of these blanket angels who sent us this photo and story that we want to share with you:
I was able to donate my (2) blankets to a local friend who recently started doing foster care. She just received a new foster child on Thursday last week and said the girl came with nothing but over-sized boy clothes and shoes.
I am so glad I was able to deliver this blanket to her on Saturday while she was shopping for her. She said the little girl was THRILLED to get her OWN blanket!! She sent me this pic of the foster child holding the blanket, and even though we can’t see it, the foster mom said she was smiling ear to ear!
This is why we do what we do. This is why your support is essential. Even though we rarely see these young people with their new blankets, this photo reminds us that a small gift of a blanket can make a big difference to a child in crisis who has lost so much. Thank you for supporting our mission.
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