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Opening Doors for Children & Families

The Blanket Project

My Grandma Anne was one of the greatest seamstresses I had ever met. She would sit down at her sewing machine, pedal her foot like crazy and come out with some of the greatest creations. Somehow this gene skipped me. I can't sew. I mean, I really really can't sew. I attempted to sew a button back on a shirt once, I honestly COULD NOT do it! My mom is probably rolling her eyes while reading this and sighing, "Come on you can sew a button back on." No Mom, I can't.

When I was about 4 years old, my Grandma made me a blanket. Disclaimer: Not only can I not sew, I have no knowledge of the sewing culture so I will describe this to the best of my ability, please don't laugh too hard at my expense. Not wanting anything to go to waste EVER my Grandma took a very old, very tattered blanket. She took scraps of material from the various sewing projects she had been working on and sewed them together, this formed the top cover. Then she took some fuzzy, pink fleece with sheep printed on it, this formed the bottom cover. Then through the magic of seamstress-ism she covered the tattered old blanket in this creation and made it brand new again.

I loved this blanket! I used it every single day. It was cozy and comfy and warm. I used it to the point that it fell apart and my Grandma sewed it back together, and used it until it fell apart again and she sewed it back together. I have never had a blanket I've loved so much and not only will I never forget it, it is the greatest memory of my Grandma Anne.

In 2007 a tradition of blanket giving started here at ABC Head Start. Wallie Wilson was a teacher at our Goldbar site. She had a class of 16 children. One day her friend who made quilts delivered 16 blankets to her class. Wallie had never seen kids so excited by a gift. Years later she had parents and children coming to her to tell her how grateful they were for the blanket and how it was the one gift they had treasured.

Seeing the lasting positivity and joy from this gift, Wallie decided to keep the tradition going. For the past six years Wallie has been asking friends for donations to buy fleece and sewing as many blankets as she can for the ABC Head Start children. Usually getting enough donations to make 200 blankets which is about half of the children attending ABC Head Start. Since then, Wallie has retired as a teacher and now has a position on the ABC Head Start Board of Directors.

Every year she wonders if she will get enough donations to keep the project going but then she receives thank you cards like this and wonders how she will ever stop: Dear Ms. Wilson, My Grandson came home from school with the most wonderful blanket covered with trucks and diggers and cars - all the things he loves. During the holidays he took it everywhere with him. It was "his own" play space, sweater and cuddle toy. Did you know it could do all those things? It was/is a perfect gift for him and we thank you. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and your gift is getting all the love it deserves. God Bless You, A very proud Grandmother.

On behalf of all the children at ABC Head Start who have ever received a beautiful handmade blanket, thank you Ms. Wallie and thank you anyone who has donated. A memory and keepsake of ABC Head Start to treasure forever.

These blankets are possible through the generosity of donations towards the purchase of the fleece. Please consider making a Tax Deductible donation in support of the Blanket Project.

You can donate online by clicking here. In the message/instructions section you can specify your donation go to the Blanket Project if you wish. Cheques can be made out to ABC HEAD START and mailed to #103 5104 - 82 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T6B 0E6.

If you have any questions about the Blanket Project please feel free to email our Community Coordinator, Anne Babb at annb@abcheadstart.org.

This blog post is dedicated to my wonderful Grandmother - Anne Lein 1921 - 2012 -

ABC Head Start Society is a registered charity which has been committed to promoting and supporting strong children, families, and communities in Edmonton for over 30 years. We know that by giving children the best possible early learning and development opportunities in life, we ensure the future well-being and prosperity of our families and communities.