Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mariah's Super Sweet 16

I received an email this week from a friend's coworker who had a very unique and special plan. Her daughter Mariah's  Sweet 16 Party was today and they decided it would be nice to have Mariah and her friends do something nice for others. Having participated in the Blanket Brigade last year, they decided to have the girls make blankets!

Mallory & I got to FaceTime with the party girls earlier this afternoon and we were happy to see they were having such a good time. 

Way to go, Girls!  
Happy Sweet 16, Mariah!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday "Wrap" Up

I'm hearing so many great stories about how you are coming together to Branch Out the Blanket Brigade!  I'm keeping a running list so if you've got something in the works, I'd love it if you could contact me and let me know so I can have an idea of where we're at.

Earlier this fall, my baby had to have cranial reconstruction surgery at Luries.  Heading into it I was thinking, "There's NO way I'm going to be able to pull off the Blaket Brigade this fall".  But from the first time I set foot in that place until the moment we left I repeatedly asked myself the question, "How can we NOT do this after experiencing, first hand, how AMAZING this hospital is!" I was so blown away I blogged about it early one morning during our stay.  You can read it here.

I can't wait to see what other amazing places are loved by the blanket brigade this year!

If you are local, we are JUST about set with a 2nd Annual, Thrivent Sponsered, Tied With Love event at St. Paul.  Details coming soon!

Thrivent members, did you know you have access to an Action Team grant?  Consider applying and using your money for fleece!  Scouts, Clubs, Teams, Youth Groups, Classrooms, Faculty, Staff.... there are so many opportunities to work together to bless the lives of the children in your own community.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Mallory's Mission

Hello Blanket Brigade Friends!

Welcome to the 3rd Annual Blanket Brigade.  Mallory and I are both very excited to see what this year's Brigade will hold!

While we will still be collecting for Lurie Children's Hospital, we are also adding something different this year.


As we received blanket box after blanket box from all over the country last year, I couldn't help but think, "Wouldn't it be great if our Blanket Brigade started spreading across the nation?" (And save many of you on shipping costs!)

So with that in mind, Mallory and I started talking about what her goals would be for this year.

"Mallory, if we asked people from all over the country to bring blankets to a hospital near them, how many blankets should we challenge them to collect?"

"Half a dozen, Mom.  That's six".  (Thanks, Mal)

"OK, so how many people are you hoping will collect half a dozen blankets for a hospital near them?"

"One Hundred".

"Really, Mal?  100?  That's kind of a lot".

"But Mom, we collected FIVE HUNDRED FIFTY blankets for one place!  It's just 6.... they can do it".

Well touche, Child.  Who am I to tell her it's lofty?  After all, I tried to tell her there was no way we would double our first year's delivery of 216, but she said it could be done.  And she was right!

So that's her mission -
100 people (We're calling them "Branch Buddies") collect 6 blankets for a children's hospital (or floor of a hospital) near them.
(YES, you can most certainly do more than 6.  We don't set limits!) 

That, ON TOP of collecting for Ann & Robert H Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago!

Will you help?

Our deadline for blankets is Monday, November 30th which is the Monday after Thanksgiving.

A tutorial for how to make and handle blankets is on a tab on our blog.

PLEASE make sure your blanket has been cut and tied correctly before washing it and putting it in a clean, unused garbage bag.  

And finally, as always, we want to keep track of how many blankets we have and where they are from.

If you're donating locally, please send me a picture of you, your kids, your class, etc with the blanket.

If you're a "Blanket Brigade Branch Buddy" you don't have to worry about getting a picture of every single blanket.  We'd just like some sort of picture from you letting us know how many blankets you collected and where you brought them.  Be creative!

THANKS for your continued generosity and love!

EDITED TO ADD: Most hospitals have a person in charge of donations.  This individual's email address should be located on the hospitals webpage.  Most hospitals require the same handling instructions as Lurie's.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

That's A Wrap!


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 


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.....


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