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.

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.

Comfort and Warmth

Since this blanket drive has started I have heard from so many that the one common denominator in going through chemotherapy was for the patient to have something near them to provide comfort.  The story of a breast cancer patient having a small silk blanket to put underneath her shirt to provide comfort as she went through therapy is just one small example.   There are many cancer patients who have a strong support system, whether it comes from their friends or their family or both.  However, there are many patients who are battling this terrible disease alone.   With your help our blanket donations will not only provide comfort and warmth but also help the patients who are going through chemotherapy to know they are indeed not alone.   Every time these chemotherapy patients will use your donated blanket, they will not only have physical warmth & comfort, they will have that very same feeling in their heart knowing they are not alone.  We are so grateful and thank you for your fleece blanket donations.  Together we are all making a HUGE difference for chemotherapy patients.