No strangers to giving to those in need, the Pocket Pal Quilters group of Norway Lutheran Church ties their hearts into each fleece blanket they handmake for Rogers Behavioral Health patients. Ann Gainey, a founding member of the Pocket Pal Quilters, found inspiration for their mission from an unsuspecting source, “Our [group] began about 10 years ago. The idea came to me after I read ‘The Lost Boy’ by David Pelzer.” Hearing the torment of a child lost in the foster care system, Ann helped found this group with a mission to provide comfort to children in need, “That boy, David Pelzer, was shuffled from foster home to foster home with only a brown paper bag for his few belongings. We began making quilts with a large pocket and Velcro closure so each child would have a secure place to hold their belongings, the quilt goes with them wherever they go.”
Three years ago, after seeing an article in Waukesha-based store, Sew Much More’s, e-newsletter, Ann proposed a new idea to the group – providing hand-tied fleece blankets to child and adolescent patients at Rogers Behavioral Health. “Our group received a large donation of fleece fabric; I presented the idea of fleece tied blankets for Rogers and they approved. So, we began a new mission for children at Rogers Behavioral Health.”
For children and adolescents experiencing struggles with their mental health, treatment can be an uncertain and scary time for them. These brave patients rely on support from their treatment team and loved ones to help them reach goals in their treatment plan so they can rise above their challenges to lead healthy and successful lives. Donations of new, unused comfort objects, like hand-tied fleece blankets, can go a long way in increasing the security and solace that our patients need during their treatment.
Ann tells how the group got their beginnings making these one-of-a-kind blankets for patients and how support for their group and their mission grew, “Initially our quilting group cut the fleece blankets, then a friend who was interested in this mission took over cutting and tying [the fleece blankets]. One of my grandsons even donated to our mission to buy more fleece fabric!”
What do the Pocket Pal Quilters ask for in return? Only more ways to provide this small joy to children. “If you know of foster children and/or agencies that would be interested in receiving these quilts, please have them contact me.”
Ann Gainey of the Pocket Pal Quilters can be reached via email at: email@example.com.