Blankets of Love: Seattle, WA
Young Adults (YAs) from Seattle, WA, spent a Saturday evening making "Blankets of Love" for children in hospitals. The YAs, having discovered that hospitals and NGOs were in dire need of blankets, decided to make blankets from scratch so they could imbue them with loving and positive thoughts for children who were sadly battling diseases.
They called St. Jude Children’s Hospital to find out the requirements for the blankets, and checked out the hospital website. Having learned that synthetic fibers, such as polyester fleece, emit micro-plastic that impacts water sources and marine life, the eco-conscious YAs opted to use 100 percent cotton flannel cloth.
About 20 YAs took part in a workshop on making the “no-sew” blankets. They got enough cloth for 14 blankets, using fabric with a design for the top and a matching plain color for the base. They divided into five teams, with each person having a specific role: one to put the top and base pieces together and mark the cuts, another to make the cuts and others to knot the borders as part of the "no-sew" process. The blankets were then inspected for quality assurance. While making the blankets, the YAs listened to the chanting of Gayathri (holy prayer) to sanctify the process and imbue the blankets with healing thoughts for the children.
A concern arose that the knotting process was shredding the blankets' threads. The YAs did a test wash on one blanket to see if it would hold up under the wear and tear of machine washing. Unfortunately, their fears proved true. Wanting to offer only the best, the YAs decided to sew the edges to prevent fraying. A team of YAs with sewing experience gathered over another weekend to fix the blankets. They removed the knots and used matching bindings to stitch all four sides of the blankets. The blankets were then delivered to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
The YAs felt gratified that during this project, they not only learned a new skill, but also took necessary steps to minimize waste and went the extra mile to ensure that their service offerings were eco-friendly, durable and permeated with love.