This week there will be a series of short articles to (re)aquaint you with some of the various and diverse jobs BonaResponds does. WAMTR--We are more than ramps! :) Starting off the series will be WarmSnugglyBlanket
WarmSnugglyBlanket is a part of BonaResponds that focuses on helping people with cancer. More specifically it makes and distributes blankets to those fighting cancer.
WarmSnugglyBlanket was started last year after Marge Mahar (Jim’s mom) died after a battle with cancer. (technically she had an allergic reaction to the chemo, but the cancer was bad enough!).
During her short struggle she regularly said that when she was better she was going to head up a new part of BonaResponds that would help those with cancer. She was not sure what she was going to do, but one thing that sje suggested was letter writing and talking with people to let them know they are not alone in their battle.
As the news of her cancer spread (Facebook and a wide range of friends and family will do that), she began getting cards, flowers, songs, books, and prayers from around the world. After one very calm night, she told the family that she had been praying for all of the people that were praying for her and it “felt like a warm snuggly blanket that was protecting her and keeping her warm and safe."
After Marge's death, a family friend and Villa Maria College Volunteer leader Kim Kotz took this idea and had a team of BonaResponds and Vila volunteers make blankets for people with cancer at the Kevin Guest House near Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. And with that an idea was born.
Over the summer we had several people donate blankets and then in September 2012 we held our first large blanket making day where over 300 blankets were made.
These blankets go to anyone with cancer. We have distributed them locally, in Buffalo, in Rochester, in Harlingen Texas, as well as in the NYC area after Sandy. We also mail them to people when we hear of their journey with cancer.
We’d love help on this personally very important project. How can you help?
How much do the blankets mean? More than we know. Take this from a thank you we recently received:
"Stu received the BEAUTIFUL BLANKET TODAY. IT IS FILLED WITH SO MUCH LOVE THAT STU CRIED WHEN HE SAW IT AND PUT IT ON HIMSELF. ON BEHALF OF STU, JIM AND I, PLEASE ACCEPT GOD'S BLESSINGS, AND THANKS FOR THE GIFT OF LOVE YOU SENT HIM, WITH OUR "MARGE" AS THE AUTHOR OF THE PROJECT: R.I.P. MARGE.
LOVE YOU ALL, AND THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS TOO.. LOVE, STU AND DEE."
Need more "proof"? I have personally delivered many of these blankets and have seen grown men who I had never imagined even wanting a blanket begin to cry, hug me, and thank me for the blanket. I have also seen blankets at wakes and have been told many times thank you months after we gave the blanket. Why? It is not the blanket. The blanket symbolizes and reminds the person that people care, that cancer has not cut them off from their family and friends, and that (s)he is not outcasts forgotten by society because of the cursed disease.
I don't know if there is anything more important that we do.
How can you help?
1. Come make blankets with us when we have a large blanket making day.
2. Make blankets on your own.
3. Donate money to help defray shipping charges.
4. If you know of someone with cancer let us know. Even better, agree to deliver a blanket to the person (we will give you the blankets!)5. Spread the word.
6. Like us on Facebook!
More info? See http://www.warmsnugglyblanket.org/