Thursday, April 29, 2010

{The Children's Hospital} Blanket Drive!

During the five weeks that we were in The Children's Hospital in Denver, my sweet baby Kimble received the best possible care.  The entire staff was thoughtful, sensitive, attentive, and loving to not only me and my family, but to the other families that were there too.  I know that with a surety because I am still in touch with two families of "cardiac babies".  We met there while our babies were undergoing heart surgeries and other complications.  We had a lot of time to talk and share concerns.  We even had a lot of time to discuss some of the wonderful service we benefited from firsthand.

I saw older women bringing in boxes of blankets that they had stitched, quilted, knitted and crocheted together.  I saw little heart shaped pillows left on the beds of every cardiac patient on our floor.  I saw secretaries opening up boxes of donated items that were mailed directly to the cardiac floor.  I saw fridges stocked with juices, milk, yogurt, cheese, and other snacks, as well as freezers full of ice cream and other manner of treats, for the patients and their families to use.  I saw personal hygiene kits, laundry soap, and all other manner of necessities readily available in the volunteer office.  I saw truckloads of toys and gifts brought in to be distributed to patients.  I saw, and still see, little gifts of toys given to not only the patients, but to patients' siblings (as Georgie can attest to).  I saw multiple activities and support groups and special events specific to the needs of patients at The Children's Hospital.

I want to give back.

The two other cardiac families that we met in the hospital feel the same way.  We want to give back! In effort to make every patient feel as warm and loved as we felt there, we are organizing a Blanket Drive to benefit ALL the patients at The Denver Children's Hospital.  Sometimes, a soft blanket makes all the difference.

During my time in the hospital, linens were provided for my use.  However, as grateful as I was for those blankets, I have one word that would describe them:  Scratchy.   It wasn't the warm, soft, and cuddly feeling that a blanket should give.  I had a saving grace though.  My friend Colleen had given me a soft fleece blanket to bring with me to the hospital, to give me warmth and comfort.   Warm and comfort me it did, too!  I cannot believe the difference a blanket made.

So with that perspective, we officially begin Project Blanket Drive!  Please join me, Teresa, and Julie, as we embark on this journey that is sure to be more rewarding than anything we have ever done.  We have put together a special blog that is dedicated to our Blanket Drive.  This blog address is http://mygratefulheart.wordpress.com/ and gives you more insight into Kimble's journey, as well as Teresa and Julie's boys (Chance and Adam) and what they have been through.

When talking with the Welcome Coordinator for the Cardiac Unit (my friend Peg!) and the Volunteer Office, we learned that, if possible, The Children's Hospital could use 300 blankets A WEEK!  So the need is great, my friends.

This project is very special to us.  So special, in fact, that we have chosen November 1st 2010, to be the cutoff date for blanket donations.  We want to have a few days to prepare everything, so that on the date of our boys' first birthday (who were all born less than 24 hours apart), we can join together and offer this gift to The Children's Hospital, and all of their patients.  What a great celebration for us.

Here is where we need your help.  We cannot possibly do it ourselves.  We need NEW handmade or store bought blankets.  These blankets can be fleece no-sew blankets, receiving blankets, baby blankets, crochet or knitted blankets, quilts, or throw blankets.  They can range in size from newborn to twin size.  (For tax purposes, monetary donations are not accepted)

If you want to donate and are out of state, please email me at kamyrensmiles@hotmail.com to get an address to send your blanket.  If you are local, we will have drop-off locations available to you.  Just contact me for more information.

If you can, please grab this button to share on your blog.  We think this is a good thing.  We hope you feel the same way.  Please join us in celebrating LIFE; in celebrating our boys' LIFE; and in giving LOVE, COMFORT, and JOY to others who are undergoing a very difficult time.



Thank you so much.

11 comments:

Colleen said...

Added the button! What a wonderful idea! Even though I don't sew well, I will keep my eyes open for cute blankets in the stores.

Jen said...

How wonderful Shaina! I am so in. I used to help donate lullaby cd's to our local children's hospital NICU through a local guild that isn't around anymore so I jump at the chance to help any family at any hospital.

Jen Sue Wild said...

Of course I will donate blankies. I have a blanket tutorial in the works when I post it I will post your story and the blog link..

This will be a wonderfull idea to cerbrate your little guys birthdays.

kdaygirl said...

Great idea!

Trinette McCrary said...

Awesome! I love service projects.

runningfan said...

Count me in! Surely by November I can get organized... :)

Julie said...

I'm so excited- it will be so much fun to do this together and for such a great cause.

Now if I can figure out how this button thing works....

linda said...

Count us in as well. We were at Children's last Thursday night and nathan was given a few new stuffed animals as well as a brand new blanket which he loves.

Elise said...

The 2nd Ward YW did this for the NICU that Matt and Kate were born at. We made fleece blankets for the babies (Matt received one while he was in the hospital). I asked the RS for donations and then we spent several activity nights cutting out and tying the blankets. We ended up donating 40 blankets - a welcome surprise for the NICU. Ask your YW to help in your drive - they can use it for Personal Progress.

Adri said...

Such a great idea! Count me in!

Sara said...

I love it and I am in. I like Elise's idea of getting your YW program involved. i will get to work :)