3 Years, 600 Blankets and Counting!

Tying BlanketsLayers of Love was launched on February 24, 2010.  We are nearing our three year anniversary.  Layers of Love began because of a simple need, one terrible side effect of chemotherapy treatment is being susceptible to cold.

Fleece Blanket Donations

In just under three years we have provided over 600 brand new fleece blankets to chemotherapy patients all over the United States and Canada.  We have received donations from all over the world.  We have donated blankets to Cancer infusion centers all over the United States, from Miami to New York City, from Camden, New Jersey to Milwaukee, from California to North Carolina and many more locations. We collect  both adult sized blankets and pediatric sized blankets.  We collect pediatric size blankets for two wonderful organizations: Chai Lifeline and The Isiah Alonso Foundation.  We have also shipped blankets that have been privately requested by loved ones for their friends, family members, and work colleagues.  We have received requests through our twitter account, our facebook page and through email.  Layers of Love is proud to say that we have never turned down a request for a blanket.  In fact, we have even been able to fulfill requests that have come in for multiple blankets to infusion centers from both nurses and patients.

The reason we have been able to provide so many chemotherapy patients with comfort and warmth is because of generous people just like you.  We have so many friends of Layers of Love donate blankets so that we can continue on our mission.

Community Groups

We have had community groups, church groups, Girl Scout Troops, Brownie Troops, a Life ScoutUniversity dorms, Summer Camp programs plus incredible individuals that have continuously donated blankets to us time and time again.   We are so grateful and thank you for all the support, and blanket donations we have received over the past three years.  With each day that passes by we become more and more committed to providing comfort and warmth to chemotherapy patients.  We do not intend on stopping until each and every chemotherapy patient has a blanket to provide them with comfort and warmth as they go through their treatment. What three years has taught us is that not only are we warming a chemotherapy patient’s body with our blankets, we are also warming their hearts.  What three years has taught us, is that when a chemotherapy patient receives a brand new fleece blanket that was donated from a complete stranger, their face lights up, their hope is raised,  they don’t feel so alone, their heart is indeed warmed. We hope that as we begin on this next year of our journey that you will continue to support our mission, to help us carry on the comfort and warmth.

If you would like to donate a brand new fleece blanket to Layers of Love and aren’t sure where to begin, be sure to visit our website. Check out the FAQ/Guideline tab for more information.

Chai Lifeline

Today we at Layers of Love are very proud to announce that we will be donating child-sized blankets to the international non-profit organization Chai Lifeline.   Chai Lifeline operates around the world.  The non-profit is best known for it’s cancer support but they help children suffering from any life threatening illness, as well as serious chronic or genetic conditions.

Chai Lifeline - Fighting Illness With Love

Chai Lifeline offers over 20 FREE year-round services.   The non-profit is well know for their summer camps-Camp Simcha.  Their website states:

“Our most famous programs are our two overnight summer camps for seriously ill children. Camp Simcha, for children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, is one of the only “cancer camps” that accept children on active treatment, and one of the few offering two-week sessions. Camp Simcha Special is the first camp designed to meet the medical and social needs of children with more than 60 disparate diagnoses. Together, these camps give 400 children and teens a vacation from illness, pain, and isolation every summer.”*

Along with Camp Simcha the non-profit also offers many other services to children and families:

“In addition to camp, Chai Lifeline offers professional case management; Big Brothers and Big Sisters; special events; sibling programs; advocacy and information; insurance support services; counseling; meals and hospital visits; retreats and family respite vacations, family days, and holiday parties; tutoring; crisis intervention and bereavement services. 

Services are developed to meet the changing needs of our families. For example, when studies confirmed our clients’ reports that one of the major reasons for missing medical appointments was a lack of transportation, Chai Lifeline began a transportation assistance program that provides thousands of rides to physicians’ offices, hospitals, and treatment centers every year.”*

Chai Lifeline has locations all over the United States and the world.

Chai Lifeline’s mission statement:

“Chai Lifeline’s guiding principles are

  • That seriously ill children need and deserve as happy and normal a childhood as possible;
  • That illness affects each member of the family;
  • That the well-being of an ill child is impacted by the well-being of his or her family;
  • That pediatric illness can have a devastating financial effect on families.

With this in mind, Chai Lifeline strives to

  • Find ways to bring joy to the lives of our young patients and their families through creative, innovative, and effective family-centered programs, activities, and services;
  • Engender hope and optimism in children, families, and communities;
  • Educate and involve communities in caring for ill children and their families;
  • Provide unparalleled support throughout the child’s illness, recovery, and beyond;
  • Offer all services free of charge to ensure that every family has access to the programs it needs;
  • Embody the ideals of compassion, kindness, and caring for others inherent in Jewish culture and life“*
In this video from Chai Lifeline you can get a glimpse into the effects of childhood cancer on three  families.

We are very excited and look forward to a long relationship with Chai Lifeline.  Since we began Layers of Love in 2010 we have been very passionate about providing as many blankets as we can to pediatric cancer patients.  As long as there are chemotherapy patients we will do our best to provide them with the comfort and warmth of a brand new  fleece blanket.

*Taken directly from the Chai Lifeline website.

To date Layers of Love has donated close to 400 brand new fleece blankets to both adult and pediatric chemotherapy patients.  Those donations have gone to cancer centers all over the United States. We proudly are working hard to collect child-sized blankets for both Chai Lifeline and The Isaiah Alonso Foundation. We are proud to say we have never turned down a privately requested blanket and have shipped those requested blankets to patients both in the United States and Canada.  We have been able to provide these blankets because of the generous donations from our friends all over the world.  Thank you!

This is the perfect time to think about donating a child-sized blanket.   If you have a fleece fabric you would like to donate, you can contact us here in the comments or at: patty@layersoflove.net  We accept brand new fleece fabric and no sew fleece fabric kits (available at many craft stores).  Don’t have the time or not sure how to put a kit together?  No problem, we can put the kits and fabric donations together for you.  Not sure about sizing or measurements?  We invite you to take a moment to look at our FAQ tab and Guidelines tab above this post to see our recommendations for donating child-sized blankets.

If your community group would like to donate to Layers of Love, please contact us: patty@layersoflove.net We have worked and continue to work with several groups, from giving directions of how to put the blankets together, supplying scissors, even gathering more volunteers for your group if needed.  Making blankets truly is community collaboration at its best!

An Amazing Project by an Amazing Young Lady

We are gearing up to make another delivery of blankets!  This one will be going to Cooper Cancer Institute in Voorhees, New Jersey. We deliver a lot of blankets both in bulk amounts to cancer centers and individually requested blankets for those who contact us privately ( patty@layersoflove.net )  to have one shipped out for a loved one going through chemotherapy treatment.  Our mission statement is Layers of Love: Comforting chemotherapy patients one blanket at a time.

But here is what you might not know.

Handmade tags, Marissa made for each blanket.

Every blanket has a story.  Every blanket donated to us has been handmade by someone who cares enough to take the time to donate a blanket.  This holiday season we have received many donations from across the country.  Many times I just receive the donated blankets, and all I know is the address of where it was shipped from.  But when I do know the back story it makes the blanket come to life. When I deliver that blanket I can tell the chemotherapy patient where it came from and any other fact I know about the person(s) who made it.

When I started Layers of Love, it was mainly because I wanted help curtail one of the terrible side effects that chemotherapy patients endure while going through treatment, being susceptible to cold.  I wanted to help provide comfort and warmth.  What I didn’t know is that not only will the blanket provide the patient with physical comfort and warmth, but it would also provide emotional comfort and warmth.  It is emotionally uplifting to know that a stranger has cared enough to donate a blanket for them as they go through their treatment battling this terrible disease.  It touches their hearts.

You’ll remember Robyn, from our last post Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Deeds and her incredible drive for Layers of Love.  Now it’s time to let you know about another member of her family, who has done and equally amazing drive for us.

Marissa is Robyn’s 12-year-old daughter.  Robyn and Marissa were looking for a project that Marissa could do for her upcoming Bat Matzvah. When Robyn and Marissa found Layers of Love, they went right into action!  Marissa put together a blog: Get Cozy During Chemo and began her blanket drive.  She set up a donation link on her blog so that anyone could help out her drive by donating money so they could purchase the fleece to make the blankets, her Mom sent out emails to all their friends to let them know what Marissa was doing, and they were off and running.

After raising money to purchase fleece fabric she set up her first blanket party and over 60 friends and family came out to help put together the blankets!

“I was really surprised, I knew people were coming and I didn’t know how many but I was surprised at how many actually came,” Marissa said. “We have a few people from our community helping and a lot of my friends.”

When I asked Marissa how she has had such success with her blanket drive she said,  “I made a Facebook event, my mom constantly posted on facebook &  twitter and her blog CancerHawk,  which more people read and it just got around quickly from social media.”

After her first blanket party, Marissa had a second blanket party hosted at her Mom’s favorite clothing store Emily Grace.  It was an all day event, where you could come in to the store, donate toward a blanket, help put together blankets, and shop for a 20% store wide discount.  They made 45 more blankets at the party!  WOW!

Marissa’s Bat Mitzvah is in May. She set a goal of 180 blankets to donate for cancer patients.  Why 180? Derivatives of the number 18 symbolize “life” and “good luck” in Judaism.  You can also read more about why Marissa picked Layers of Love, and why she wanted to donate blankets for chemotherapy patients in her Why blankets? …..My story post on her blog.  Marissa loves hanging out with her friends and loves cheerleading.

Just a portion of the donated blankets from Marissa ready to out for delivery.

Marissa is another example of an ordinary person doing extraordinary deeds.  She is a wonderful young lady.  These handmade fleece blankets will be so welcomed by the chemotherapy patients they will be donated to.  They will provide comfort and warmth both emotionally and physically.   We are so grateful to both Marissa and Robyn for their hard work, and their amazing inspiration.  Both Marissa and Robyn are truly making a difference to so many people.  Thank you for all that you do, thank you for all that you have done.  Thank you for all the blankets.  Thank you.

Lending Support

Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people’s souls.
~ Melody Beattie

Lending support.  Encouraging words can make all the difference in the world,  just ask someone who has been on the receiving end of those words.  Our mission here at Layers of Love is simple: Comforting chemotherapy patients one blanket at a time.  We have been collecting blankets to give to chemotherapy patients to provide them with comfort and warmth as they are going through their treatment for cancer, my goal has aways been to give them this comfort, at a time in their lives, when perhaps they will need it most.  It’s not only about having a warm blanket, it’s about knowing they are not alone in their fight against this terrible disease.

So that brings us to our new campaign.  This photograph below is an example of the tags we attach to every blanket we donate to a chemotherapy patient.

Layers of Love Blanket Tags

We are looking to add something to our tags.  We are looking for cancer survivors who wish to lend their encouragement.  How can cancer survivors help us?  Send us a short bio on their success in fighting the disease.  What encouraging words did you hear while fighting cancer?  What or who helped you to fight even harder?  How are you doing now?  You can send us whatever you would like to add along with the short bio, perhaps a photo of yourself, or your family.  We are asking for just one or two paragraphs, (or more if you see fit)  it can be hand written or typed out, in a card, or on a piece of paper.  It’s your story feel free to share it any way you would like.   Tell your story.

We would like to attach your bio along with our tag to a blanket we are going to donate, if you are an adult it will go on an adult blanket, if you are under 18 it will go on a children sized blanket. Your story will only be added to one blanket.  Our goal is simple, we want to connect survivors to current patients.  We want to give hope from cancer survivors to patients who are currently battling cancer.  We want to connect that line of hope, when chemotherapy patients need it the most.

A donated blanket ready for a chemotherapy patient

If you are a cancer survivor and would like to give encouragement and hope to a current chemotherapy patient we appreciate your help.  You can send us your short bio, your story, photograph, whatever you would like to share with a patient to our email at: layersoflove1@gmail.com or donations@layersoflove.net  Or you can send it by tradition mail service to:

Layers of Love

665 Pine St.

Palmerton, Pa. 18071

We are very excited here at Layers of Love to start this campaign!  We are sure that by connecting cancer survivors with those who are currently battling cancer that it will give hope at a time in their lives when perhaps they need it the most. Simple words on a piece of paper can make all the difference in the world.

I love sharing my story. It’s endlessly healing. 
~Ben Vereen

We are always collecting homemade fleece blankets, as long as there is a chemotherapy patient we will be collecting blankets.  To date we have collected and donated over 125 blankets.  We collect both adult sized blankets (2 yards length or the 72inch sized kits) and children sized blankets (48″x60″).  Want to donate and not sure where to begin? Check out our FAQ tab at the top of the page.

*If your group is interested in working with us please leave us a message in the comments or you can reach us at donations@layersoflove.net  We have worked with many community groups and organizations, from providing you with enough scissors, to showing you how easy it is to put blankets together, we will help you to get your group on their way to making blankets!

We are so grateful for each and every donation we have received, and to all of you we say THANK YOU.

 Since we have started Layers of Love we have been receiving, in increasing numbers, emails from many people who either know a friend or family member who is undergoing chemotherapy and have requested blankets.  We are very proud to say we have never turned down one of these requests. Thanks to your support we are still providing these blankets when requested and will continue to do so.

Sharing Their Experience

A while back we received a very generous donation from Karis and the wonderful girls in Windsor Residence Hall at Purdue University. They made blankets specifically for breast cancer patients who are going through chemotherapy, along with beautiful homemade cards for each patient.

Recently Karis sent me so photographs from their blanket tying night that I wanted to share on this blog.

Their decorations for the event were awesome!

What I love about this type of event and what many people who have donated blankets to Layers of Love have said to me is that this event lends itself to friendship, collaboration, conversation, and a great feeling of community.    Over the past year we have a great many groups prepare and donate blankets, and they have all mentioned how much fun their group had while preparing them.

These wonderful girls from Purdue University, took valuable time out of their very busy college education, to come together to do something special for a great cause. Layers of Love is extremely grateful that they chose our cause to work with.  We thank them not only for their generous donations but sharing their event with us, so that we could in turn share it with you.

If you would like to read the original post about the generous donation from Karis and the girls of Windsor Hall at Purdue University you can do so here.

We have worked with many groups over the past year, if you and your group would like to prepare blankets to donate to Layers of Love, contact us here through the comments or you can email us at: donations@layersoflove.net We will be more than happy to help you and your group in any way we can.

Community Collaboration for Chemotherapy Patients

Layers of Love is still working hard to reach our goal for the chemotherapy patients at the Lehigh Valley Health Network.  We are getting closer to our goal, and this is a BIG part of how we are reaching that goal.

A while back I received an email from a wonderful woman who had 3 bolts of fleece fabric she wanted to donate to us here at Layers of Love.

3 Bolts of White Fleece Fabric

What a very generous donation!  I was so excited, not only for the donation but also because I knew that it would be able to open the door for even more donations to us.  And open the door it has!  It has enabled not only individuals but community groups to do more with less fabric. I am so grateful that Elizabeth contacted us and we will be able to benefit so many more chemotherapy patients from her donation.  She has continued to be in my thoughts and prayers since the day I had the pleasure of meeting her and her daughter. Elizabeth herself has been going through chemotherapy treatments.  We pray she is doing well.

Since I have received the 3 bolts of fabric, I have received other donations of fabric, this has enabled me to be able to pair two parts of donated fabric from two different sources together, to help more chemotherapy patients.

Collaboration of 2 Pieces of Donated Fabric to Make One Blanket

Layers of Love has been working with several groups that have chosen us to benefit from their community projects. When we are contacted by a group looking to help us out, we try to do all that we can to help them complete their goal. Recently we were contacted by a youth group leader at Bethany Wesleyan Church, which is a local church here where we are located.  They wanted to make their fabric go as far as possible to help us help as many chemotherapy patients as they could.  So I told them we had donated fabric here that they could pair up with the fabric they had and we could collaborate to make their fabric go further.  Their youth group met last week and look at the fantastic work they did with both fabrics!

Bethany Wesleyan Church's Beautiful Homemade Fleece Blankets

We are giving them a BIG thank you for all their hard work.  This is exactly what I was so excited about when we received the generous donation of the 3 bolts of fabric.  I knew it would open the door to help more people and groups to be able to have a hand in helping even more chemotherapy patients.

Community collaboration for chemotherapy patients.  It is a win win situation no matter how you look at it.

*If you have a fleece fabric you would like to donate, you can contact us here in the comments or at: donations@layersoflove.net  We accept brand new fleece fabric and no sew fleece fabric kits (available at many craft stores).  Don’t have the time, or not sure how to put a kit together?  No problem, we can put the kits and fabric donations together for you.   More information is in our FAQ tab and Guidelines tab above this post.*

*If your community group would like to donate to us here at Layers of Love, feel free to contact us: donations@layersoflove.net We have and continue to work with several groups, giving directions of how to put the blankets together, supplying scissors, even gathering more volunteers for your group if needed.  Making blankets truly is community collaboration at it’s best!*