These true stories about children in foster care, blankets and blanket makers are evidence that "simple things" like blankets can make a big difference to the children who receive them -- and the adults who make them.
"This one thing" will make a difference
We received this email from a JustServe volunteer who told us about her family's experience with the foster care system and the difference a blanket can make.
Thank you so very much for creating this opportunity to help children in the foster care system. I was so moved when I read about your organization on the JustServe.org website and what you do for these precious children.
Close family members were recently involved in taking 2 children into their home through the Dept. of Child Protective Services. I saw firsthand the upheaval this caused in those children's lives.
Even though they were placed in the safest and most caring environment, in an instant their familiar foundation was stripped away. Having something to hold on to, that is theirs to keep no matter what the future holds, is so crucially important.
I, along with the others helping, are privileged to be able to do this one thing that will bring comfort during such a trying time in these children's lives. Ann K.
Marika's Adoption Story -- 23 Years Later
Our Blanket Angel Marika shared with us the story of her adoption and its lasting effect on her.
I don't remember my parents ever sitting me down one night and telling me I was adopted. It has been a part of my identity since before I could remember. I was adopted from an orphanage in Eger, Hungary, when I was two and a half. It was a closed adoption. Read more
"Sometimes people underestimate the work they do." May 2022
We received this email from Mary Ruth, the Director of CASA for Kids of Geauga County, Ohio. Court Appointed Special Advocate® (CASA) and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers are appointed by judges to advocate for children’s best interests.
Thank you for the support you have given our program in the past. Sometimes people underestimate the work they do. I believe this to be true with your blanket makers. These are a few examples of how the blankets have been received for our children.
We use them in our DEAR Program: Drop everything and read. The blanket and a book arrive with a CASA/GAL who needs to build a relationship with the child. These are children often frightened, feeling lost, alone and unwanted. One family in particular had 5 children who were voracious readers living with tremendous mental health and physical challenges from both parents. I would come to visit and find the children wrapped in their very own blanket curled up reading a book and escaping for a short time to another more pleasant world. These blankets truly offer a sense of comfort.
We also add a blanket to the Launchpad basket we provide for a child aging out of care as they move on to college. The knowledge that someone took the time to care means a lot to these kids. They are the teenagers, the ones no one wanted. In their minds we just don’t understand.
Thanks so much for the continued support. Mary Ruth
Her husband's experience in foster care inspires Blanket Angel April 2022 Many of our volunteers or their family members have a connection with the foster care system, sometimes even with a special blanket! Vanessa (shown making an MVOB blanket at right) sent us this story about her husband as a boy and his blanket.
My husband grew up in a terrible environment and always had his “blue blankie” to rely on when he was small. He wasn’t allowed pillows or sheets. He was disowned when he was 12 and sent to live with a Catholic family who treated him well, but he always had his blankie.
He started cutting tobacco when he was 14, saved up everything he earned to buy a car, but always had his blankie. He is now an IT director of a large realty firm; he made it on his own.
I learned about your charity from Bank of America. I feel that it is a great cause and never realized how much comfort it brings children to have something of their own to rely on. We have made 4 blankets with more to go. We will keep blanketing. Vanessa
Why I'm helping MVOB reach their 2022 goal of 30,000 blankets March 2022 While scrolling through Facebook, I saw a post from my niece, Jessica. She had shared a link to My Very Own Blanket. I went to the website and read all about this valuable organization that provides blankets to children in foster care. This touched my heart as I have a niece and nephew who my brother adopted after fostering them.
I love doing crafts, and the no-sew fleece blankets are so quick and easy that I set a goal of submitting 100 blankets in 2022! I created my own Facebook post and offered to make the blankets for anyone who will donate the cost of the blanket that I get from My Very Own Blanket.
Each person that reaches out will receive a picture of the completed blanket and I'll include how many blankets have been submitted. I just submitted my first two blankets in honor of Nathaniel and Haley, and their blankets were number 1,875 and 1,876 towards the organization's 2022 goal of 30,000.
I've already picked up four more blankets in honor of my four grandchildren. Then I'm thinking about submitting some for my two daughters and my parents. Please join me in putting a smile on a child's face by making them something they can hold onto when their life has been turned upside down.
A simple thing means so much A message we received from Whitney, a foster care case manager in Illinois, January 2022
Hello! I just wanted to send you a message and say that you can add 32 blankets to your number for the year. I am a foster care case manager, and recently my congregation made 32 blankets during a blanket making activity for your organization.
I have already given 3 of them out to very thankful kiddos! One of those is a 6 month old little boy. Every week when I pick him up to visit mom he has his blanket with him!
I didn’t realize how much such a simple thing meant until I started working in the foster care world. I am so thankful to have found your organization so the ladies at my church could help make these for the new kids on my caseload. Whitney…Johnson City, IL
A caseworker's story
A pink and purple blanket made a big difference in the life of a small girl.
It was a cold day in February 2016.
Our agency was working with a single mother who had a poorly-supervised 3-year-old daughter. The little girl was very curious about her surroundings and didn't know a stranger, as her mother often left her with just about anyone who would watch her so she could party, work or hang out with friends. The little girl felt comfortable exploring her surroundings and often did this.
One cold February morning the agency got a call from law enforcement that the little girl had been found wandering in the road near a gas station. She was dressed in only a t-shirt and underwear. She was hungry, as she had not eaten in a long time.
When law enforcement officers found her, she said that she was looking for her mother. The little girl had been left with strangers for a few days and she missed her mother, so she went looking for her. When the people she was staying with lay down for a morning nap, the little girl left the home in search of her mother. Law enforcement stated that when they found her, she was cold and afraid.
The caseworker who responded to the call grabbed a "My Very Own Blanket.” The blanket was pink and purple and had flowers on it. The law enforcement officer wrapped her up in all they could find to cover her, a scratchy wool cloth. The child’s eyes lit up when she saw the brightly colored, soft, pink and purple blanket. Our caseworker wrapped that blanket around her and the fear left her eyes. The little girl was taken into agency custody, and she carried her blanket around with her the entire day until she was placed in a foster home. The little girl is still in our agency care, and her foster mother reports that she sleeps with this blanket on her bed every night. When the little girl comes into the office to visit her mother, she will often walk by the office of the caseworker who removed her. She will often say "Hi" and then say "you gave me my blanket." Our agency sends great thanks to My Very Own Blanket and the many Blanket Angel volunteers for their donation of blankets, as they DO bring comfort to many of the children we work with. ~ Denise Children's Services Auglaize County, Ohio
Only a hairbrush -- until she had a blanket
Kathie, a new MVOB volunteer, told us how she heard about My Very Own Blanket. "Taylor 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. It was 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! "
Blanket comforts traumatized child in Alabama
March 2021 A five-year-old boy in Alabama recently received one of our blankets on a traumatic day when he desperately needed some comfort. We want to share his story as told by Valencia, the Program Manager with the Office of Foster Care for the State of Alabama, in a virtual conversation with Jessica Rudolph.
At left is the photo that Valencia sent us, taken on the day the blanket was given.
Inside the men’s prison Blanket Workshop with My Very Own Blanket
(for privacy purposes to the victims’ families the faces of the gentlemen have been covered).
I work with approximately 9 men at the Pickaway Correctional Institution. The "blanket workshop" is located in the Community Service Building and is equipped with our sewing machines and related tools. (Men understand “tools” better than scissors, etc.)
These men work here 5 days a week. The skill levels vary but I am impressed with the improvement and eagerness to learn. Each and every one has a special talent; be it design, construction or color. They are so proud of their projects and talk about their younger years and how they want to help these kids today.
It is a productive and healing way for these men to have this opportunity, “giving back” to a system in which 80% of inmates have been touched by the foster care system.
Thank you for supporting My Very Own Blanket and this uplifting opportunity that touches so many lives!