Stay the Course Light a Star

“When the world says “Give up,” hope whispers “Try it one more time.” ~Author Unknown

Our very good friends over in Mansfield Ohio, the wonderful children’s charity Friends Like Us, were hit back at the end of February with a devastating flood. Since we launched Layers of Love we have had a relationship with Friends Like Us. Mark and his wonderful children’s charity, were one of the first friends we communicated with through our social media efforts. Since our first tweets together over a year ago we have built a very strong friendship. What does Friends Like Us do? They are a nonprofit childhood cancer organization with a goal to help children who have been devastated by cancer through their treatments. With all the pain and heartache that can come with this disease, we want to leave a lasting impression of love and hope with them.

As we announced earlier this year we are working this year collecting child sized fleece blankets for children who are going through chemotherapy treatment to add to their Chemo Bear Packages. They have given many children and their families a great deal of hope by providing them with these packages to help them ease the pain and uncertainty of going through chemotherapy treatment. Friends Like Us, works tirelessly for children who have been diagnosed with cancer.

As devastating as the flood was and all the damage it brought to Friends Like Us, the damage hasn’t stopped there, not only did they lose a great deal personally, their charity took a big hit as well, it has been almost complete loss for them. They have been trying to recoup some of the losses with local agencies but haven’t had any luck through that venue to date. So they are doing what they can on their own. As Friends Like Us states on their website, “We did everything we could to keep the water out and as fast is it came in, we couldn’t keep it out. It was like a small river flowing and all we could do is run around to get things put up as fast as we could, but it was too late for a lot of it. We lost so much due to the damages caused from the water. We are working hard on the recovery process, but need so much help with repairs and financially. We just can’t do it on our own!!!” Friends Like Us lost a lot of Chemo Bears, medical supplies, sibling toys, many coloring books, books and lots of supplies. You can view some photos from the flood on their website.

We are asking today if you can help them in any way possible, no donation IS TOO SMALL, every bit counts, to get them back on their feet and running again so that their mission of providing children with their Chemo Bear Packages can go on, move forward and begin to continue again.

Friends Like Us has made it very easy to donate to their cause. Simply go to their website http://www.friendslikeus.org/ and click on the donations tab at the top of the page, you can also donate through your mobile device with their QR code by going here.

Thank you for your help, it is appreciated more than you will ever know.

 

Thank you to the wonderful charity of Friends Like Us for not only everything they have done for children and their families who have been devastated by cancer, but for everything they will continue to do well into the future.  Layers of Love is grateful not only for the fantastic work they do, but for their friendship.

 

“Stay the course, light a star, change the world where’er you are.” ~Richard Le Gallienne

12 by the 18th

We have big changes on the horizon here at Layers of Love. First up,  we have set a goal of collecting 12 No Sew Fleece Blankets for the chemotherapy patients at Cooper Cancer Institute by August 18th.  We currently have 9 here waiting to be delivered.  We just need 3 more to reach our goal!

After we make the last delivery of blankets to the Cooper Cancer Institute in Voorhees, Layers of Love will take off in a similar but new direction.  We are currently in the planning stages and will make a formal announcement after the 18th of August.  We are very excited and look forward to working hard to make a difference for those who are going through chemotherapy treatments.

We are so grateful for everyone who has helped us out along the way.  We could have not done this without you. Thank you!

You can follow us on twitter for timely updates on all cancer related subjects.

You can also “like” & feel free to share our page on facebook.

Bottom Line

I need help.  I need blankets.  The bottom line is we are collecting fleece blankets for chemotherapy patients and the donations have stalled.  I have set a goal of 74 blankets and I will not rest until I hit that goal.

You want to help and aren’t sure what you can do?  It’s very simple there are many ways you can help out.

  • You want to donate a blanket.  Easy as clicking a few links over there —-> in our side bar.  You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home.
  • You don’t know how to prepare the fleece blankets?  Simple, just have the blanket shipped to us: Layers of Love 665 Pine St. Palmerton Pa 18071 and we will put the blanket together for you.
  • You can’t donate a blanket at this time but still want to help.  Did you know you can also donate fleece fabric?  Yes you can we have several volunteers who are willing to sew blankets for us.
  • You can’t donate a blanket or material at this time but still want to help us out.  Share our links.  Sharing our links helps us get the word out and if you share our link with even 10 friends and one friend helps us, that is a HUGE help  to the chemotherapy patients we are providing blankets for.
  • Layers of Love on Facebook
  • Layers of Love website
  • Layers of Love on Twitter

If you have any questions please see our FAQ,  or Donations Guidelines tab at the top of the page.  If you need to contact us you can do so through the comments here or by emailing us at: layersoflove1@gmail.com or donations@layersoflove.net

I appreciate everyone who has helped us out with our drive, and thank you for your help.  Together we can make a big difference in providing comfort and warmth to those going through chemotherapy treatment.

That’s the Bottom Line.  I hope you can help us out.

Chemotherapy with a Positive Attitude

On Thursday May 20, thanks to all of your donations we received, I made the first of what I hope to be THREE fleece blanket deliveries to Cooper Cancer Institute in Voorhees New Jersey.  It was a day I won’t soon forget.  There has not been a day that has gone by since I walked out of the Institute that I have not thought about the chemotherapy patients, and their smiles, loads of smiles.  With that very thought in mind today I bring you two patients of the many I met that day, while delivering your fleece blanket donations.

Fran Ceritano

This is Fran Ceritano who is currently receiving chemotherapy treatment.  She is a wonderful lady, with a beautiful smile.  I love the blanket she chose, one that was hand sewn.  I loved meeting her and her daughter.  I wish her all the best as she moves forward with her treatments.

Bill Duncan

Another patient I met while at the Cooper Cancer Institute was Bill Duncan.  I talked for a while with Bill about his cancer and met his wonderful wife who was with him.   When I asked Bill if I could take a photograph and tell  his story on the layers of love website & blog he did not hesitate to answer a resounding “Yes!” He wanted his story told because he said that “if he could give anyone, even one person who has cancer hope, that is exactly what I want to do.” Bill described to me that he currently has stage 4 small lung cancer extensive, left lung, right lung, effected, abdomen, and a spot on his kidney.   Before his first of three chemotherapy treatments his tumor measured 12.7cm x 4.5cm.  After first three treatments his tumor has reduced in size to 4.5cm x approximately 2.0 cm.  Bill said that “the treatments do work.” Bill was an amazing man with an inspiring positive outlook.  He also went on to say that he “is reacting good to his treatments” and “the one thing you must have no matter what when diagnosed with cancer is a positive attitude.” “When I was diagnosed the doctors told me I have 12 months, after these first three treatments I am now telling them, I have at least 12 years!” Bill’s positive attitude radiated from him.  Bill and his wife, and Fran and her daughter,  were a joy to spend time with and wonderful to talk to.  I am so glad I got to met them and everyone I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with on that day.

I wish Bill and Fran all the best as they move forward with their treatments.

I was told last week that all the fleece blankets that were delivered on that day have now been handed out to patients.  It was wonderful to give a patient a blanket and see their face light up and for them to immediately put them to use.  YOUR generous donations have made a huge difference to these chemotherapy patients.  YOU have made it possible for them to have comfort and warmth as they go forward with their treatments.  We cannot thank you enough for all the donations we have received.  We are a third of the way to reaching our goal.  There is still time to help us out, donating is as easy as a few clicks of the mouse.  Check out our sidebar for blanket donation suggestions, you can purchase them right from here and have them shipped directly to us.   If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask us, send us an email at: donations@layersoflove.net     We thank you for all your help!

A Delivery of Smiles

Last Thursday I made the first of what I hope to be three deliveries of homemade fleece blankets to the Cooper Cancer Institute. First off let me say that this day would not have been possible without all of your generous donations.  I am so thankful for all your help.  Thank you all!

It was an incredible morning!  I was met by Beth Ann Rachkis the Director of Marketing and Communications at Cooper Cancer Institute. We brought the blankets into the chemotherapy treatment room snapped a few photographs and started handing them out.

Two wonderful nurses at Cooper Cancer Institute with the blankets

It was fun to see which blankets were chosen by the patients.  We had so many different patterns to choose from.  Not only was it wonderful to bring so many smiles to the chemotherapy patients but it was equally as wonderful to chat with them for a little while.  Many who chose blankets put them to use right away as they were receiving their treatment that morning.  Comfort and warmth, plus a smile, what a great combination.

I will never forget delivering the blankets last Thursday.  It was a moving day and though I have left the building the memories I made that day have not left my mind.

So what is next?  Now the drive continues, hopefully we will gain more exposure from our website and our facebook page.  With that exposure we hope to bring more donations in for our cause.  Our goal is 74 blankets and we are over 1/3 of the way there already.  Thank you to everyone who has joined our cause and provided comfort and warmth to those chemotherapy patients who are currently undergoing treatment.  We could not have done this without YOUR help.

My Turn

While I was preparing blankets for the girls last week, I got to thinking.  Thinking about what else I could do to get more people involved with the blanket drive.  Many thoughts and ideas passed through my mind, but nothing really stood out.  That was until the girls arrived and sat down and began to tie the blankets.  While I was preparing more blankets in the other room, their excitement and conversation, along with their laughter, flowed into the room where I was.  It made me think of my friends, and how much fun we have when we are all together, how the conversation flows, laughter ensues, and what great memories we make whenever we are all together.  It was at that moment that I decided to have a fleece tying night for myself.

During the course of the year I go to many “home parties”.  These parties might be for food products, jewelery, candles, home interior products, or beauty products.  So I thought why not have a home party of my own and all for the great cause of donating blankets to chemotherapy patients.  So here’s what I decided to do.  I am having a Wine and Cheese Fleece Tying Blanket Party.  I plan to do several over the next few months and invite different friends, and have different themes each time.   The plan is very simple.  I will ask each friend to donate $20. for the purchase of one No Sew Fleece Blanket Kit.  The kits will be purchased ahead of time, and I will have them prepared for tying.  I will serve several choices of wine, and cheese, we will sit down around the blankets, tie them and I’m sure we will have as much fun if not more than my daughter and her friends did.

If you would like to have a “home party” of your own let your imagination run free, there are so many different types of parties you could have.  Don’t limit yourself to wine and cheese.  Do you have friends who love a certain television show?  Have the party centered around that show.  Do you have friends who love to cook?  Why not have a pot luck or themed dinner party, where afterward the blanket tying takes place.  Where I live the weather is starting to get really nice outside, you could even do an outdoor themed blanket tying night.  Let your imagination run, get creative, have fun with your friends and all for a great cause.

Plan on having a theme night for yourself, let us know.  What theme are you going to do?  We’d love to hear about your plans, see photos (yes take photographs!) and hear about your experience.  You can contact us at layersoflove1@gmail.com or you can leave us a comment below.

“Just Let Us Know When”

The brownies were baked, the chocolate chip muffins were baked and the pizza’s were delivered.  Our first Fleece Tying Family Fun Night was all ready.  I had spent the afternoon preparing the blankets.  It was very simple to do.  Just unroll them, lay them out on the floor and cut the strips all the way around all four sides of the square fleece fabric.  My daughter had invited 3 of her best friends over, to help tie the blankets.  They enjoyed their pizza party beforehand.  When they were ready to begin, I put a movie in the dvd player, spread the first blanket out on the floor, and explained all they had to do, is each one take a side, and begin to tie the strips of fabric together in a simple knot.

They were very enthusiastic!  They each sat down and began to get to work.  I was in the other room preparing more blankets and I could hear the laughter coming from our family room.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but thinking I knew 13-year-old girls I thought they would get bored after 2 or 3 blankets.  That wasn’t the case at all.  They said it was so easy and they were having so much fun they wanted to do more and more.

If I would have had 1000 blankets prepared they would have done them all!  It took them only 10-15 minutes tops to tie one blanket.

They worked together in nice harmony.   They got all the blankets tied with plenty of time left for more conversation, laughter and to enjoy the movie.

This night was so memorable on so many levels.  This night truly made my heart sing.  It was so great to see how enthusiastic these young girls were to give of their time on a Friday night, so that a chemotherapy patient (whom they probably will never get to meet) will have comfort and warmth.  When I asked about another Fleece Tying Fun Night, they were all on board and simply replied, “just let us know when”.

If you would like to have a Fleece Tying Fun Night and aren’t sure how to begin, simply let us know.  We will be happy to get you and your group started with some great tips. Feel free to leave a comment below, or you can email us at layersoflove1@gmail.com  This is a great volunteer activity for those who are looking for community volunteer hours, great for girl scout troops, teen groups, even adult groups.