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.