Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Labor of Love ...



Ever since leaving CHLA,or actually while we were still there,I have searched for ways to give back.Lots of ideas.Few have come to fruition but some are coming together.Like this one.Most are hindered by funds but I know,eventually that will change.I hope to gather as I go,others who wish to contribute their time,talent and treasure to help me.I know it will all happen but you see,patience has never been one of my strong suits.Today,thanks to my incredible family,a beginning.And it feels great.My sister in-law Lisa and niece Michelle, headed to Jo Ann Fabrics with me to get this new project off the ground.A craft/fabric store is seriously out of my comfort zone.They were very patient with me and extremely helpful and enthusiastic, as I wandered aimlessly for the right fleece.I would pull out one,proclaim it the one and then just as quickly replace it in search of another.Finally,after what I thought mistakenly would be a easy task,two,or rather four fabrics were picked and purchased.Upon entering the door at home, Michelle was at it without pause.That girl is focused like no other.Lisa jumped in and before long they emerged with one blanket completed.After,swimming,dinner and an unexpected jaunt to watch Jessica play in her indoor soccer league,we dug in and began another blanket.But when I say we, that is not entirely true because this blanket was done primarily by no other than my incredible HUSBAND Mark.The guy is a saint I tell you.He finished the blanket at 12:10 am,took the dog out and went to bed,only to have to wake up at 4:30am to take his sister Lisa and Michelle to the airport.I have always said that he is absolutely my better half.As a side note,I feel the need to mention,Mark DID NOT work on the Lakers blanket.His blanket was the darling girl one,which makes it all the more special to me.So this week, two blankets will be delivered.One to our buddy Klein, who is still in the BMT unit and the other to a sweet girl battling leukemia for the 2nd time.The brainchild behind this came during our extensive time on the 4th floor.Although we were recipients of many,many generous gifts,it was a blanket, like these ones, that really touched ours, as well as most of the other families, hearts the most.These blankets were made with love and filled with prayers of healing.They were objects to wrap ourselves and most especially our children in,during times of great stress and sickness.They were fresh and new,bright and beautiful and were often just what was needed, at just the right time.I hope this project morphs into something much bigger.My dream is to do this in honor of Zoey and have something printed to go inside the bags to lend hope to other families by the example of our small daughter's courageous journey.I have had a few unselfish friends offering their help get this thing off the ground and eventually, I'd like to make deliveries to the floor,say 4 times a year,to the 30 or so patients on 4E.Lofty expectations but I think it's entirely doable.So there it is,that's my dream and I'm sticking to it!

23 comments:

stephanie said...

Lofty expectations.. my you know what! You just did it.They are beautiful! I wish I could do that.Wouldn't have a clue on where to begin.
You know Emilia was only in the NICU for nine days with really no issues, we were very lucky, but stressed none the less, we received two beautiful blankets and a little sock doll that really helped. One was a knited rainbow blanket and when I walked in and saw her wrapped in it ,it made me feel better.It was a comfort.
Heather you will do whatever you get in your mind to do. I don't need to say good luck, only call LACH and tell them when to expect the first delivery.

Mark you ROCK!!!!!!! Make sure Heather doesn't over do it! she is supposed to be taking care of herself... occasionallly.
Love and kisses!!!!

ABandCsMom said...

Awesome! I know we loved our blankets while we spent our many days and nights as inpatient..our's, the 7th floor. We have quite the collection of blankets and we love each one of them.

Keep up the good work!

Lacey said...

I can totally picture Mark making that blankie. He is a very sweet guy. Not to many friends hubby's gave me a hug, but he did. I love making the blankies, the pictures I get when the child recieves it, theres nothing better. I would do it at my local hospital, but they are not good at letting you hand deliver them, and I want to see the childs face. Although, when I get caught up with the blankies I'm doing, I'm putting a flyer about them up in the PICU to spread the word a bit.
Thanks for your comment last night. I think I'm finally hitting that brick wall. Mondo is giving me fits, that poor boy is just so jealous and lonely, I don't know how to help him.

Denise said...

First of all...I LOVE that Mark made a blanket..that is so awesome and more "manly" than he thinks. Because he did it for someone else. Secondly, I am IN!!!! I can make some of those (aren't they just the tie the ends together kind?) and then that would give us an excuse every once in a while to get together so I could give them to you. Great idea my friend!!!!

Googsmom said...

That is GREAT!!!! {{{HUGS}}}}} for Mark. Tell him GOOOD JOB from Brook and myself.

Junior said...

wonderful idea, the blankets are beautiful. You and your family are awesome, such an inspirations.

Alisha said...

Good for you! Anything that helps, right? I think blankets are a wonderful idea!

Reagan Leigh said...

That is so great! I love it! What a lift that must give to those families when you show up to their door with these blankets! So sweet! We got a couple of prayer blankets when Reagan was first diagnosed with seizures and it's just so touching to know the time those ladies put into them and the prayers that were said for our little princess. We were so touched by it and I think it's wonderful that you have dedicated yourself (and what little free time you have) to doing something so sweet for these families!!!

scrappy quilter said...

What a beautiful way to say thanks and to touch lives.

If you read my blog, my dream is that every child in the north would have a quilt. I started with one and I'm at a 100. It can be done and if anyone can do it, you can. Like you each quilt is prayed over while being made.

What a great guy Mark is to have done one. That's awesome!!

I can't wait to hear how this all works out. I just know you are going to have some incredible stories. Hugs..

Michelle said...

You are doing it!!!!!! Oh my friend, look at those...they are beautiful...filled with love, gratitude and Zoey's sweet spirit. I know you will be so blessed as you bless the lives of those around you! What a wonderful project! I will help in any way I can too, even though I am far...I can always find fabric on sale here (my cousin has radar for that kind of thing) and I will send it over! One day my dear friend, one day we'll get to do these wonderful things together, make a difference, give back and change the world, one Down Sydrome child, or sick child, or special child at a time! :) So good to hear from you! xoxo

Anonymous said...

WELL DONE MARK!!! Your creative side is indeed awesome!! Bet you just loved having your sister and niece visit. And Heather, I just know Lisa & Michelle LOVED going to the fabric store with you and helping to get your project "up & running".

Take care & hope those fires I see on TV keep away from you and all of your friends.

Love

Aunt Bluebelle

Dawson said...

Super idea. What a great way to say you love somebody!!

I dont claim to know a whole lot about blankets, but I know there is not a soul on this earth who wouldnt be touched by that.

Way to go. that is so awesome

therextras said...

Outstanding!

I LOVE how you describe how the blankets made you feel. Surely I can work that into some kind of therapy post?!

Barbara

Kristy said...

Great idea and I am sure such a welcome one from the recipients of these beautiful blankets!! Heather you are so kind and generous...I love that so much about you!!

Devon said...

Heather, this is wonderful. As a recipient of 2 blankets whild Dakin was in the hospital, I tell you, it was like getting a hug from a stranger at a time I needed it most. This is a wonderful idea, and I hope it keeps going. There is a real need for it. I'm sitting here tearing up...

Judy said...

Heather, this is one of the things I admire about you....You don't just have big dreams, you bring them to life! Fantastic idea!
The blankets we received when Bo was in the NICU were SO appreciated. It brightened our day and sent us the message that there were people out there thinking of us and praying for Bo :)
I have a couple suggestions for your project:
1. could you add a button to your blog that is a direct link to an online fabric store that people can order directly from and have the fabric shipped to your address for assembly?
OR
2. You could (I could, anyone who would be able to) host an event 4x a year in which people come together (at one of our homes) and bring their own fleece they've bought from Joann's or wherever and we all assemble blankets together over coffee, tea, cookies and most of all love and well wishes for these little warriors.
3. Set up an Etsy cart for people to purchase/donate a blanket to CHLA 4th floor. You could add a few different patterns (ones that Joann's sells ) and let people pick?
I don't know..just a few ideas :)
You are truly an inspiration, Heather...Sending tons of hugs and prayers your way :)

Judy said...

One more thing....Heather, you have such a gift in expressing your feelings. I think it would be so encouraging to have a direct note from YOU on a tag with the blanket or a note that accompanies it. Your words are always so inspiring and uplifting. You've been through 4th floor he** and you can sure empathize with these parents. Ok, I'm done now...I promise....;)

Anonymous said...

Heather,
I would LOVE to help make blankets from "afar" (UT). Let me know the size and specifics - they're the ones tied on the edges, correct? Let me know what kind of fleece prints you want, and I'd be happy to help make them and send them to you!
Just email me -
Karen Salinas
alkarensalinas@aol.com

Kele said...

LOVE the blankets, and these fleece blankes are the best!! Jett won't let his go, EVER... even during our 100 summers, he has to have his red race car knotted fleece blanky!
Beautiful gesture H, once again you amaze me!

Kele said...

OH! Not to forget you Mark, great job! Let me guess, before getting started you thought to yourself 'just how hard can knotting these blankets be?' Until an hour later your still doing it... I remember, these are time consuming to make, and with your schedule, that makes it all the more special that you would do it. (Who-du-thunk that you were cute AND crafty!! he!he!)

rae said...

great job Heather... you go girl. I have found that with the poncho project that people are often times willing to donate fleece to a good cause. Ask if you can put up a sign at JoAnn's explaining what you are doing and ask if they would be interested in buying an extra yard to donate to your cause. I have piles of fleece that have been donated to the Poncho Project from so many generous people... I donate about 10-12 ponchos every 2 months and it seems like my bottomless stash keeps growing. It will catch on and soon it will be like the shoe maker and the elves and you will have a whole crew of blanket elves. Hugs to you.

Stefani said...

Hello, I am an Activity Day leader in Saratoga Springs. Our girls have been wanting to make blankets throughout this next year for the hospital. I found your blog through a friend's. I was hoping that you would let us help you. These girls are ages 8-11. The fleece tie blankets would be easiest for them. If you could let us know what size you need, and how to get them to you we would love to help throughout the next year! Thanks! Stefani stefani@giffordfamily.org

Stefani said...

I am an activity day leader in Saratoga Springs Utah. Our girls have been looking for a way to make fleece tie blankets for the childrens' hospital. Our 25 girls range in age from 8-12. They would love to help throughout this next year! If you could let us know what size you need, and how to get them to you, we would love to make some blankets! Great Work!
Thanks!
Stefani
stefani@giffordfamily.org