Thursday, December 11, 2014

That's A Wrap!

TADA!!
 

Today was our second delivery for Blanket Brigade 2014 and WOW, did we deliver!  Three vehicles filled with bagged blankets and eager helpers delivered the rest of the 

FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY BLANKETS

we have received from 23 states across the country since October.  
550!!  Can you believe it?!  We kinda can't!


There are many things I absolutely love about this project, but one of the things I love most is the people I connect with, meet, and reconnect with thanks to the love and compassion that is extended from some amazing people.  Our delivery team today consisted of some special grade school friends!  The above picture shows "The Deliverers" - all alum (and a future alum) of St. Paul in Mt. Prospect.  (Classes of '91, '92, '93, and 2024)  Thank you, Alana & Shannon, for spending your afternoon with us!  
 
There was one particular day about a month ago where I had messages in my inbox from two girls I met on mission trips (one in Colorado and one in New York), two people I went to High School with, and a childhood friend that moved away in 3rd grade ALL wanting to let me know they had a blanket to contribute to the Brigade.  What a perfect example of God's Family working together!!  I've been constantly reminded that I have crossed paths with some unbelievably awesome people.

Many of you have asked me how the blankets are distributed.  Today I learned a bit more about how the process works.  They first take some of the blankets straight from the loading dock right up to the floors to deliver to inpatients who don't already have one.  They also hand out blankets in their Family Life Center  and at special events (see pictures below!)  The remainder of the blankets are split up and sent to outpatient facilities in Lincoln Park and Winfield where children are scheduled for tests, procedures, and surgeries.  I was told the blankets are especially cherished in those times as they become a comfort on a "scary" day.  




Once again, I'm so thankful to all the people who have played a part in this special project. Your compassion, love, and willingness to help has amazed me every day since we started our Blanket Brigade.
We are looking forward to slowing down a little bit and enjoying all things surrounding this Christmas Season as we focus on Jesus' love as He is the One who loved us first and best!  
 
I've been hearing some stories of how our project has inspired others.  If you have a story or project to share, please contact me as we would LOVE to share it on our blog!
 
From the bottom of our hearts, Mallory and I say, "THANK YOU" for 
making Blanket Brigade 2014 such a HUGE success!


Monday, December 8, 2014

And Then *THIS* Happened!

We can't believe it!
Remember two weeks ago when we celebrated 400?
Well, move over 400.... we've got a new milestone to celebrate!



We're at 516 to be exact.

I keep thinking about the morning I spent with Mallory just over a year ago discussing the idea of donating "some" blankets to "kids in the hospital".  We never would have thought that our little mother/daughter project would turn into something so huge and continue to touch the lives of everyone involved; patients, their families, participants, followers, and especially our family.  We're happy so many of you have joined us and are thankful for each of you!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blanket Brigade Thanksgiving

We spent Thanksgiving week out east with family and came back to be able to add two more states to our Heart Map as well as enough blankets to double our count of delivered blankets from last year. 
We are now at.....

Amazing!

We still have about a week and a half left if you want to participate.  
The deadline is Wednesday, December 10th.

Taking a break from blankets to enjoy family. <3
But that doesn't mean we left all of our work at home! 
Today we added Virgina......

...and Pennsylvania to our map bringing our total number of blanket making states to 23!

Monday, November 24, 2014

First Delivery Complete!


The weather was terrible, but our hearts were filled with joy this morning as we headed downtown to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital.  As I mentioned in a previous post, we were asked to divide our haul into two separate trips due to the amount of blankets we have collected.  We took advantage of a donated U-Haul for this first run and still had some overflow into our minivan!

A photographer and public affairs personnel met us at the loading dock
Mallory, self proclaimed president of the Blanket Brigade, getting her photo taken.
"The Blanket Train" ready to head upstairs for deliveries.
Because of illnesses, cold weather and timing of our delivery last year, our photos never made it to the "Foto Friday" section of Lurie's Facebook page.  We were told to expect to see pictures of our delivery as well as patient photos on this weeks Foto Friday!  Go "like" their page if you haven't already.  Perhaps you'll see your blanket being put to good use!
Thanks to this thoughtful gift from Miss Kelly, we had a little Blanket Brigade Party when we got home. :)

If you'd still like to participate you have until December 10th!  I'm so proud of the outpouring of love from so many of you from all over the country!  YOU made a difference in the life of a child and their family.  Thank you for being a part of something so special that brings so much joy to so many people.

God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you

 Jesus, help us carry You
Alive in us, Your light shines through
With every act of love
We bring the kingdom come!
-Jason Gray

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tis The Night Before Delivery

Tis the night before delivery 
And we're excited to say
Over FOUR HUNDRED blankets
Are headed Lurie's way!

Mallory and I anxiously awaited pictures today hoping to surpass the 400 mark.  And we did!  The pre-bedtime count stands at 408!
Many, many, many thanks to the girls from Huntley Gymnastics Academy whose twelve blankets put us over the 400 mark tonight and caused a big celebration!

Collecting blankets from school this morning.

Always a good helper.

Last weekend we tied blankets with a 100 year old woman and today my 1 year old carried blankets out to our van.  The Blanket Brigade is truly for friends of ALL ages!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Houston, We Have a (Good) Problem..."

Months and months ago I scheduled a Blanket Brigade delivery date with Lurie Children's Hospital for Monday, November 24th, 2014.  What I didn't know at the time was that our efforts this year were going to be even more successful than last year!

So what's the problem?

Well, the problem is that we have more blankets to donate than Lurie's can safely accept, distribute, and/or store at one time!  (Told ya it was a good problem!)

So what does this mean?

For us it means that we now have two scheduled delivery dates.  The first (and biggest one) being this coming Monday.  The second delivery is scheduled for December 10th.

For YOU it means more time! 

Our new OFFICIAL deadline for Blanket Brigade 2014 blankets is Tuesday, December 9th.  We will happily accept your donations until then.

Once again, many, many, many thanks to all who have followed our story, participated in, loved on, and prayed for this project.  God is SO good and every day as I scroll through the progress pictures I'm thankful for the many amazing people He has blessed our lives with!

The following pictures are some we've both taken and collected over the last couple of weeks showing our progress....


Mallory loves picking up blankets from our Blanket Brigade Boxes as well as the (often twice) deliveries that have been arriving at our front door!

This is what we've see quite a bit of in our basement the last few weeks.  Piles and piles of colorful blankets...

When I have a big pile of "blanket bags", we check each one to make sure they're all tied correctly, and then stack them up to be tagged and bagged.

Mallory loves counting them and picking out her favorite patterns. :)
Then I tag each one before bagging it.  Each tag has our blog address so that the recipients can peek at the blog to see where their blankie came from.  The number on it corresponds to the blanket number on the Progress Page.
Life Teams consisting of students and teachers from Martin Luther HS in Wisconsin were very busy this week...

Many thanks to my college friend, Erin, for organizing their project!

Sometimes pets like to help too.

Girl Scouts from St. Paul working together on a blanket.
Mal LOVED making new friends at The Lutheran Home last weekend.  Here she is explaining to some "My Rehab" friends how the Blanket Brigade works. 

She was QUITE fond of 100 year old Virginia.  This truly is a project that has been loved on by people of ALL ages!

Thanks, Joe, for overseeing the blanket making at The Lutheran Home!

Our kindergarten friends working hard on their blankets. 
I picked up quite a few blankets this morning while Mal was at school.  She was excited to get all of these home!
Back to work, we go!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

It Happened!

Earlier this week Mallory told me that she thought by the end of this weekend we would have more blankets than the 216 we collected last year from more than the 13 states we collected from last year.  Well today her little goals came true!

This afternoon we went coast to coast adding blankets from California and Maine bringing our total to 14 states!  You can check out which states we have received blankets from by peeking at our Heart Map.

As of 6:30 tonight we have 219 blankets and we still have two weeks left until our delivery.  Click here to view our progress.

Thanks to all who have donated to, followed, and prayed for the Blanket Brigade.  It truly brings so much joy to our home knowing that we are providing something so special for the patients at Luries!

We brought a HUGE load of blankets over to Mallory's Great Grandma's house this afternoon.  She's graciously loaning us a spare bedroom for storage this year.
There's still plenty of time to join our efforts.  Here's how -I Want To Make a Blanket - What Do I Do?