When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

~ Kahlil Gibran, from"The Prophet"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Little Things Really Are The BIG THINGS

I've come to know a young lady through email correspondence. Her thoughtfulness and level of wisdom extends beyond her years ~ a portion of her insight acquired through personal experience with a loved one and the rest due to the innate sensitivity and acumen of which I recently wrote; that which finds its home inside certain vibrant and ambitious young souls.  (I included part of an email toward the bottom of THIS POST nearly a year ago. Scroll way down to the Project Linus graphic and take a few moments to read the simple words that pack the punch of an understanding many struggle to achieve.)

Katherine is from our community. She played volleyball for a time, and that is where her path crossed Erin's some years ago. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is now working toward a degree as a Child Life Specialist - an individual who works in pediatrics departments to assist patients and families as they cope with serious illnesses and trauma. We had the good fortune of meeting a few of those enthusiastic individuals during our own time spent in the hospitals here in Chicago.

She is organizing and directing the Project Linus Event in Iowa.

In her words ~
For the third year in a row, I am heading up the University of Iowa's very own Project Linus event. Project Linus, as most of you already know, is a national non-profit whose mission is to provide warmth and security to children facing adversity. On Friday, December 2nd (let's all face the fact that, yes, December is right around the corner)  University of Iowa faculty, students and community members will come together for one day and make tied fleece blankets. The blankets will be donated to pediatric patients at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital (both trauma patients in the ER and inpatients fighting cancer, cystic fibrosis and other life-threatening illnesses). I am so very proud of what we've been able to accomplish in the last two years and can't wait to see how successful we are this year.
(last year they made179!)

I know it feels early to be thinking about the holiday season, but please consider making a contribution to this worthy cause. I wish I could explain how incredible it is to bring the blankets to the hospital and see the kids (and their parents) light up. A local news station aired a story about this event last year in which the broadcaster said, "sometimes the little things really are the big things."
That sums it up perfectly.

Yes, it does.

This photo was taken at home, but both blankets had been made for Erin by volleyball team members, and they accompanied her on trips to the hospital whenever she was admitted for chemo and/or surgeries.  I had one, also, that had been made by a class of 2nd graders "to keep Mrs Potts warm and cozy". It did.  Still does...
Katherine suggests donations in the form of

  • Checks 
You can make them out to me, Mary Potts, and mail them to ~
     825 S Stone Ave
     La Grange, IL 60525
I will, in turn, forward them to Katherine.
Cash works too.
These donations will be used to buy fleece.
The average blanket costs between $25-35 to make.

  • Material (more work, but lots of fun!):
For one blanket, purchase two (2) cuts of fleece, 1.5 yards each
-one with a pattern suitable for a child/adolescent
-one with a solid color that matches or compliments the pattern

Suggested places to shop - JoAnn Fabric, Hobby Lobby and WalMart all sell fleece.
If you do go to JoAnn, never go without a coupon! Coupons can be found in the Sunday paper and on their website.
Check out THIS LINK to see some of the great fabric choices!
Fabric can be dropped at my house and I will take it to Katherine's parents' home where she will pick it up.  Please mail check/drop off donations before Thanksgiving so I can make sure Katherine has them by the Friday, December 2nd assembly date in Iowa.

This is a pretty easy way to make a BIG difference in the life of a sick child. Perhaps teachers and coaches could ask for $1 from their students/team members, and the efforts of each class/team could buy the fabric for one blanket. Add them up - that's a lot of blankets!

Individuals who are out shopping can swing buy a store and choose some really cool fabrics. Think about patterns and colors that would make your own kids happy.  Even better, let your kids go with you and choose the fabrics.

Oooooh - I just found the graphic below.  It's a Girl Scout patch!  What a great project for a Troop.

And the J is topped with a sunflower.  
How about that!
I think I have to go shopping!!!


  1. What a precious and lovely young woman. She sounds as if she will be a wonderful Child Life Specialist. And how great that the Girl Scouts will honor this work with a badge!
    You know how I feel about blankets for hospital patients...I just love that photo of Erin & your pup cuddling with them.
    God bless you, Katherine and all those who will benefit from this project!

  2. Karen, I sure do know how you feel about blankets! Others may click on Karen's name above and look in her sidebar for her link to Katie's Comforters Guild. She's a champion for the cause out in WA.

    Karen, I wondered if you'd recognize the photo above of Sweet Mona's. Katherine was traveling in the Seattle area several months ago, took the photo and sent it to me in a "thinking of you" email. I don't know if it's located anywhere near you.

  3. I didn't recognize it, but looked it up and it's on Whidbey Island! One of my favorite places, a couple of hours' drive (including a ferry ride) from here. Thank you for mentioning it - and our guild. xoxo

  4. Love this....giving to this just feels right! Thanks Mary, for bringing this to us all!
    Any comfort we can provide for these kids, God love them!


  5. It is so wonderful to see all the people that Erin has touched and how they choose to give back because of their friendship with Erin!!! I will definitely do some fleece shopping and get it over to your house.