Tags Posts tagged with "Blankets"

Blankets

Pictured from left, Audrey Goodfriend, Tamara Baker, and Phyllis Stark with blankets to be donated to hospitals. Photo courtesy of Fountaingate Gardens

Audrey Goodfriend and Phyllis Stark, avid crocheters and knitters who are members of the new 62+ Independent Living Community Fountaingate Gardens in Commack, were so pleased to learn of We Care Blankets, a charity that aligns with their talents and interests. Recently, they welcomed Tamara Baker, founder of the charity, to their community to donate more than a dozen blankets for children and young adults who are going through chemotherapy.

Blankets made by Fountaingate residents will be donated to hospitals. Photo courtesy of Fountaingate Gardens

According to Baker, she started We Care Blankets more than two decades ago because she saw how cold children in treatment could be while in the hospital. “We have a network of more than 25 hospitals, and we supply them with 15,000 blankets each year, keeping children warm and comforted while they battle cancer. I’m so thankful for volunteers like Phyllis and Audrey,” Baker said.

“I think this is an amazing cause for those who are going through such difficult and challenging times,” Stark said while packing the blankets for pick up. “It creates a positive impact not only on the recipients, but also on the broader community, inspiring others to get involved!”

Goodfriend, who crochets while attending the weekly Needler’s Group at Fountaingate Gardens as well as while watching her Mets play, said, “Combining passions and interest with a purposeful act is a win-win situation; we enjoy our leisure time, but also make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

Baker noted that a network of volunteers meets regularly to wrap the blankets she has gathered from her volunteers, usually wrapping between one and two thousand blankets for delivery to the many hospitals in the We Care Blankets network. 

For information or to volunteer for We Care Blankets, contact 516-797-2250 or visit their website at www.wecareblankets.org/volunteer.

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From left, Valerie Sanks and Linda Scalcione with the many blankets donated this year. Photo from Scalcione

By Ernestine Franco

Everyone likes to curl up with a warm blanket as temperatures drop. So do the dogs and cats that live at the various animal shelters around Long Island. One Rocky Point woman is helping shelter animals keep warm one blanket at a time.

A few years ago Valerie Sanks and her son Matt decided to collect blankets that would be donated to the shelters for the animals.  During the holiday season in 2013 they collected 150 blankets.

In 2014 Sanks placed a post on her Facebook page requesting donations of blankets. By Dec. 17 of that year, her house was overtaken by 610 blankets, 600 cat-nip toys, and many boxes of dog biscuits and cat treats.

This year her goal is to collect 1,080 blankets and 2,000 cat toys as well as treats for all the animals that will be spending this holiday in one of the many shelters across Long Island. Throughout the year Sanks volunteers at the Brookhaven, Riverhead and Southhold shelters. The blankets and toys that she collects will be distributed to these shelters.

Linda Scalcione, a friend of Sanks and a Rocky Point resident, said that Valerie and her son “visit, help train and walk the dogs at the different shelters. Valerie goes above and beyond your average volunteer. She wants the dogs and cats that spend time at the shelters to be comfortable and for them to feel loved.”

If you would like to help Sanks reach her goal of helping shelter animals spend a warm holiday, friend her on Facebook or send donations to P.O. Box 262, Rocky Point, NY 11778. You can also send any blankets or donations to any of the three shelters: Brookhaven at 631-451-6950, Riverhead at 631-369-6189 and Southold at 631-765-1811. They all know Valerie Sanks.

Of course, if instead of donating a blanket, you want to provide a home for one of the animals, that would be great with Sanks. After all, all she wants is “for all the animals to one day have their fur-ever homes!”