Blankets for Love

1One person can make a difference.  Seventh grader Anna Stang of St. John the Baptist School in Kenmore is that person.  Five years ago when she was in third grade, she had the idea of “Blankets of Love” that began in her living room with a handful of friends.  Inspired by her aunt who was suffering with cervical cancer, Anna wanted to do something to ensure that her aunt and others would be surrounded by love as they underwent their cancer treatments.  Since then, she has made over 300 blankets that have been delivered to countless organizations, including the Women's Gynecology Oncology Associates, the WNY Dialysis Center, Journey's End, and the St. Mary of the Angel's convent.  Some were even shipped to Afghanistan for our troops.

It was Anna’s aunt that taught her how to construct these cozy, fleece blankets.  Each blanket includes a hand stamped tag with an uplifting message to sustain its recipient.  Although her aunt has since passed, the deep love which inspired these blankets continues today.

Recently, a crew of forty-seven volunteers consisting of St. John’s students, moms, and friends assembled to make blankets at the campus in the Reina Community Room.  Anna and her two younger siblings, Sophia and Jack, select the fleece that is used for the project focusing on cheerful colors and patterns.  The blankets were blessed by Rev. Michael Parker, pastor at St. John’s.  During each blessing ceremony, the group gather in a circle holding hands and pray that the recipient will receive a spirit of hope and peace with the blanket.

Anna won the “Kids Who Give” contest sponsored by Rich’s Products to underwrite the cost of the blankets a couple years ago.  Now, she relies on the donations of private individuals to assist her.  If you are interested in supporting the “Blankets of Love” project, please send your donation to St. John the Baptist School, Attn.: “Blankets for Love,” 1085 Englewood Avenue, Buffalo, NY  14223. 

Anna was recently interviewed by WKBW-TV, Channel 7, for this imitative.