Children in the foster care system face a difficult situation. Taken out of a home where they are neglected or abused, they are thrust into an unfamiliar world of social workers and foster parents, a journey to safety that can be stressful and overwhelming.
Blankets for Kids, a Pleasanton non-profit started a year ago by Jo Molz and her daughter Marcy, coordinate groups of volunteers to produce blankets to be given to children in need.
"We deliver them to the Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, and San Ramon police departments; Shepherd's Gate and the Tri-Valley Haven, which are shelters for abused women and children, and also Calico Center in San Leandro which is kind of the center point for a portion of Alameda County where the children are interviewed and then sent to foster homes," explains Jo, the group's executive director. To date, the group has distributed over 4,000 blankets.
The blankets are made of polyester fleece and produced by Blankets for Kids volunteers. "A group of senior citizens at Ridgeview Commons in Pleasanton makes the bulk of our blankets but there are so many wonderful groups - boy scouts, girl scouts, women's groups, church groups - who are doing it on their own, along with individuals who have volunteered. It's something anybody can do - I've got school-age children making them," she says. "It's absolutely incredible how this thing has expanded. It's so rewarding, to make these blankets and to see these people get such a kick out of making these blankets."
One of the things that makes it easy for volunteers to help out is the fact that there's no sewing involved in making the blankets. "It's fleece and fleece does not ravel, and they're made in such a way that they're cut and tied and that's all there is to it," she explains. "They're a wonderful thing for these poor children who have been taken out of a neglectful or abusive environment. This is sometimes all they have."
In addition to making fleece blankets, Blankets for Kids also accepts donations of new finished crocheted, knitted, quilted, or other blankets. The group also accepts monetary donations. "This is an all-volunteer organization so every single penny goes toward buying the fleece, which I get wholesale from the garment district in Los Angeles," says Molz.
For additional information or to make a donation, contact Jo Molz of Blankets for Kids at (925) 846-6155 or e-mail email@example.com .
Also in this issue ...