How to make 352 Blankets in 8 Hours
The 5th Annual Blankets of Hope marathon at the Ascension Catholic Church in Bowie, MD was held on September 25th, 2010.
Each year has been bigger than the last, and this year was no exception. Patriotic Americans of all varieties showed up to make blankets for wounded heroes—men, women, young, old, couples and a variety of races all spent a Saturday making over 300 blankets to send to Soldiers’ Angels Germany. “The first year they made 43 blankets and were so excited and proud of themselves,” says Lisa Dodson, who coordinated the event. “This year it was 352 made in eight hours! Every year the event grows and grows.”
The 150 volunteers in attendance, most of whom had participated in previous blanket-making marathons , drove up to 90 miles to be there. They were very enthusiastic and especially motivated by a story shared at the event. During a fundraising effort outside a local grocery store earlier in the year, a man had rolled by in his car to say, “I received one of those blankets earlier this year. Thank you, thank you.” He then reached out the window to press something into an Angel’s hand and drove away instantly. It was a $100 bill.
“I start getting questions within a month afterwards about when the next one will be,” says Lisa. They get so excited! It really brings people together, and everyone leaves feeling so good about what they’ve done.”
Lisa and her husband spent the last year soliciting donations from friends and family that own businesses or have good relationships with businesses they use regularly. Companies, schools, a restaurant, individuals, local Lions Clubs and the local American Legion all pitched in with fundraising support that resulted in fabric for 180 blankets. In addition, each attendee at the event was asked to bring enough fleece to make at least one hand-tied blanket if at all possible.
Despite the economy, Lisa was able to raise more money than last year, with individual donations showing the greatest increase. Pico Textiles of California also stepped up, shipping hundreds of yards of fabric at no cost. Thanks to those donations they were able to make about 20 more blankets than last year, even though slightly fewer people participated. Lisa also points out two fellow Angels who were particularly helpful in planning and preparations: Maureen Barber and Valerie Potter, who acted as Lisa’s assistants, getting out the word in the local Bowie newspaper, churches, bulletin boards, etc.
Congrats to the Angels and their patriotic friends in Bowie! Great Angeling!
Blankets of Hope Marathon 2010