In the past couple of months, you may have noticed us talking a lot about blankets. Well, in case you missed it here’s what was going on…
On Family Day (Monday February 20th) volunteers across Ontario got together with family and friends and to make blankets for children and youth joining there for families.
Blankets themselves represent the notions of safety, security, warmth and comfort. Even the idea of ‘home’. It’s common for us to gift blankets to families when a new baby is born.
When a child joins a family through adoption from foster care, often at an older age, the family is not showered with gifts in the same way. We wanted to give a gift that is memorable and welcoming. The bright, colourful, cozy, and soft fleece blanket seemed a perfect fit. Many people seem to have a 'blanket story'.
How will children get their blankets?
Families who take our parent training, Pathways to Permanence 2, are supported to stay connected when the group ends. Over 200 Ontario families will participate in this program every year. Each family receives a resource and gift package. A blanket is part of the package and is given to the child and/or youth who has joined the family through adoption to symbolize their new permanence.
How did Family Day blanket making go?
Amazing! We learned quickly that blanket making was a perfect, meaningful activity for people of all ages to participate in on family Day. It was a way to connect on a day where families celebrate their new connections, and understand the need to honour connections lost for their family to form.
50 volunteers gathered in January to help cut the blankets from 11 bolts of fleece donated by Sunne Way and put blanket kits together for shipping out in time for Family Day. These volunteers included several groups of youth, ACO staff, and board members. 50 blanket packages were delivered throughout the province as far away as Sault Ste Marie.
In the end, over 200 blankets were made! And 40 blanket sponsorship were received!
As the blankets are delivered back to the AC0 we are so touched to read the personal notes written and pinned to the them.
- “Warmest wishes on your adoption journey”
- “May your journey be filled with love and blessings”
- “Have a great life”
- “To a very special person – I hope this blanket keeps you warm and cozy and brings you comfort. Especially made for you.”
We have already started delivering these blankets and will likely be reaching out again soon to make more. We willkeep you updated with pictures in our Facebook photo album, Family Day 2017.
As for you? If you’re interested in participating in activities like this in the future, sign up to volunteer.
You can also learn more about our Pathways to Permanence 2, free parent training here.
Family Day is a very important holiday to celebrate in our community. We are a community that truly understand the consequences of broken connections and therefore embraced the concept of taking time to make a blanket as a symbol of warmth, security, comfort and family...forever.
Thanks to all for being part of our Family Day Blanket Making initiative.
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