Macomb County group to make fleece blankets for hospitalized children

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published September 23, 2019

 A child enjoys a blanket at Beaumont Children’s.

A child enjoys a blanket at Beaumont Children’s.

Photo provided by Chris Morrisroe

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UTICA — Staying in a hospital is never any fun, but a local group is looking to make the stay a little more comfortable for local children.

Woman’s Life Chapter No. 911 Macomb Angels is looking for volunteers who want to make a difference in the lives of children who currently are hospitalized and unable to go home.

The group will host a fleece-blanket-making event to put blankets together for children at Beaumont Health hospitals, and the public is welcome to join.

The date to join in has been set for Oct. 21 at Pine Ridge of Plumbrook Senior Community, 8350 Plumbrook Road in Sterling Heights. Volunteers will meet in the activity room at the facility, and blanket making will begin at 5 p.m.

“We are welcoming anyone who would like to come. We just ask that they bring a pair of sharp scissors,” said Lynn Karnes, the Woman’s Life Chapter No. 911 Macomb Angels president.

She said that the blankets are simple to make.

“Volunteers will be measuring out the fabric, cutting strips, and then other volunteers will be tying them together, and they will be instantly sealed in bags,” said Karnes.

She said they have a goal to make a certain nmumber of blankets to give to children, but more would be good too.

“We will be making about 30-35 blankets,” she said.

The idea arose during a meeting of the Woman’s Life Chapter No. 911 Macomb Angels when a member, Barb Bratten, brought up the idea.

Bratten has experienced what it’s like to have to stay in a hospital.

“As someone who has been touched by cancer, I think it is important to show love and comfort, especially for children. I believe the softness and warmth from the fleece blankets make the child feel comfortable and loved. They are like a warm hug. Making these blankets is a great way to show the children we care and are thinking about them,” Bratten said.

The blankets will give the children something they can call their own while away from home.

Sara Klakulak, the manager for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Beaumont Health Foundation, will be at the event around 5:30 p.m. to give a quick talk about their program.

She said the blankets that will be made and donated to the kids can help provide comfort and relieve anxiety. They can also remind kids and their families that people in the community outside the hospital care about them, and they can be special items that patients needing repeat admissions bring back to the hospital.

Chris Morrisroe, of media relations for the Beaumont Health Foundation, said the blankets will make a lot of kids very happy.

“Children will have access to the blankets as part of the Beaumont Children’s patient base. Lynn is expecting to donate between 25 and 40 blankets. That is a lot of happy kids!” Morrisroe said.

Morrisroe said that if the number of blankets ends up exceeding the goal, Beaumont will gladly take them for children to have.

“We will take as many blankets as they make!” Morrisroe said.

Morrisroe said Klakulak will be collecting the blankets at the event and transporting them to each hospital location. Each children’s program or department will then distribute the blankets as there is a need.

Woman’s Life Chapter No. 911 Macomb Angels is a group of volunteers who do service projects and fundraisers for individuals and nonprofits in Macomb County.

The group has held events such as meat raffles, Junk in the Trunk sales and fundraisers with the Shelby Township Police Department.

For more information or to volunteer, call (586) 604-6907 or email WL911macombangels@gmail.com.

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