I was asked recently, “Why bother focusing on a blanket drive?” That is a very good question, for I could be asking for money donations to fill inmates commissary (while that is helpful, many of our incarcerated people would rather you take the time to send them letters), or asking for money towards building a compound retreat for our people or I could even ask for money donations to help fund my own bills. However, I prefer to help other people with things that can be of use to them, and I aim to make sure our people don’t feel alone and forgotten.
Blankets do serve a purpose. Not only do they keep someone warm but more importantly, they serve as a comfort object. When I was going through my very undesirable childhood, blankets were always my “safe space”. To this day, there is nothing more comforting and relaxing after a stressful day then wrapping up in a blanket. I know of many children and adults who see blankets as more than just something to sleep under.
A comfort object is an item that provides psychological comfort usually from an uncomfortable situation. This uncomfortable situation may have been from a traumatic experience, a painful memory, or an accident. A strong attachment with the comfort object can re-establish the feeling of safety during a potentially traumatic event.
Many of our elderly in nursing homes feel abandoned and even scared, I have seen them clutch tightly to their blankets as if the blanket is their only consolation. I have seen children suffer through long stays in hospitals and grip their blankets while enduring repeated blood drawing and other procedures. Many officers and rescue workers carry blankets to wrap people up in who lost everything due to a fire, or natural disaster. Kids who had to be removed from unsafe living situations also are immediately given a blanket. Blankets, for some, can feel like a much needed hug.
For some, blankets even transform into capes, tents, costumes, picnic tables…. I could go on and on but I imagine you get my point.
We don’t just donate blankets, though that is the main cause. We also donate clothing, food, books and toys to our own. We donate time to listen to our people and help them overcome emotionally difficult times, or help them achieve their goals for their future by pointing them in directions they can learn skills. We do fundraising to be able to assist some people who need help getting through a rough financial time, or just needing help buying their children birthday gifts. We’ve even donated blankets and food to animal shelters.
Blankets are the main cause because they are something I feel is a good way to let our people know that they are not forgotten and they are not alone in the world. Giving them a new, handmade blanket let’s them know that we want to put in the time and effort to let them know that they are loved. No store bought “Made in China” blanket is going to get that message across.
Thank you to everyone who already has, and everyone who will in the future, participate in this cause. You make a difference. 💜
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