Local non-profit organization Fleece and Thank You is trying to change a possible negative hospital experience for children with the gift of hand-made blankets.
Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Hills hosted a “Make a Blanket Day” event on Saturday, Sep. 21.
Fleece and Thank You holds various annual events, including “Make a Blanket Day,” that help support their mission to provide comfort, connection and hope to children in the hospital.
“Make a Blanket Day” started as a response to the low supply of fleece blankets provided to hospitals during the summer months, according to Oakland University alumnus Nicholas Kristock, the founder and executive director of Fleece and Thank You.
Once a volunteer for children and families with cancer, Kristock decided to create an organization for which he can help children battling illnesses.
“We have colorful fleece blankets and a video message of support waiting for them, and there’s a couple basic needs that humans have, [such as] love, comfort, shelter and food,” Kristock said. “Of all these basic needs, we are providing them the comfort/shelter. Make a blanket, make a video, make a difference — that’s our motto.”
Another goal Kristock and his company have is to make the children feel comforted and protected from the outside world, especially because their hospital rooms can be scary and intimidating.
With having the opportunity to provide hope and support to many children and their families, Kristock said he has established many powerful relationships with children ever since he founded the organization.
“I love every single moment of my career, but my favorite moment was when a father came to the ‘Make a Blanket Day’ event to make a blanket, and that blanket he made ended up going to his daughter who was in the hospital,” Kristock said.
Every year in Michigan, more than 30,000 children spend at least one night in a hospital battling various kinds of illness, according to Kristock.
“Our goal of this event is to make 2,500 blankets that will all be donated to 28 of our hospitals we are partnering with all across the state of Michigan,” Kristock said.
He also hoped to eventually break a Guinness World Record by serving all 30,000 of those children in hospitals, providing them with not only a fleece blanket, but also a personalized video message of support from the volunteers.
More than 100 operational volunteers have helped set up for this event, and 500 people from the community came to attend to help make the blankets throughout the event time, marking this “Make a Blanket Day” a huge special event for many people. Kristock and his company are looking forward to encouraging the community to get more involved in helping children battling illnesses for.
For more information, please contact Nicholas Kristock at [email protected]. A calendar of upcoming volunteer events through Fleece and Thank You is also available online.