Fleece Blankets for INOVA Loudoun Hospital

Since September 2016, Leesburg Kiwanians have hand-braided and delivered 600 (and counting) fleece blankets to the pediatric ward at Loudoun INOVA Hospital–delivery 300 pictured. What started as 12 each month is now 30 for children staying at the hospital, including those there for MRIs and radiology, emergency room visits, and operations.

Delivering our 300th braided fleece blankets to INOVA Loudoun Hospital pediatric ward. Sept 2018

INOVA hospital staff lets children who need some added warmth or just some soft, soothing comfort choose a blanket.

According to the staff, these blankets have become very popular with their colorful designs and hand-braided edges. Hospital child life specialists report “Many patients hold onto their blankets their entire visit, and it becomes their coping method!” They note the children are thrilled to learn they get to take them home, too.

When the club delivered presents to patients just before Christmas in 2018, we met a teenage girl who had received one of our first donated blankets. It remains a prized possession according to her mom.

The pediatric unit therapy dog–Jeremiah–gets monthly deliveries too. At the staff’s request we braid the edge remnants from the fleece into sturdy chew toys. According to a former handler, “He’s in heaven with his rope pull toys! He likes to challenge me every now and again to a game of tug of war, and he always wins… of course!” Jeremiah looks forward to blanket deliveries too, because his 3 toys have come. If Jeremiah sees us coming to deliver blankets in the hallway, he looks for his toy, and sometimes will take one right then to carry around the hospital.

Therapy Dog enjoying a new chew toy.
Therapy Dog Jeremiah enjoying a new chew toy made from remnants of the braided fleece blankets for pediatric patients.

Would you like to braid a blanket for your child? Follow these instructions.

Just another example of why #kidsneedKiwanis.

Would you like to donate the cost of a blanket? Donate here.