Blankets from Joe

One of the greatest gifts of being part of a team like Links is having a first row seat to experience each team member’s talent to deliver something they are personally passionate about. Blankets for Joe is an organization our copywriter, Theresa, developed with her sister to celebrate and honor the life of their father, Mr. Joe De Franco. This is the fact sheet Theresa prepared for her teenage daughter to utilize engaging her peers to participate in the effort. We are so proud of Theresa and her efforts to honor her beloved father and allow us to help in providing comfort to those supporting friends and family in the hospital. We invite everyone to support Blankets for Joe. 🙂 

Mission: Provide comfort and warmth to people who have a loved one in the hospital for an extended stay/with serious health issues

How: Donate new blankets that will be passed out to family/loved ones of hospital patients in the ICU, Cardiac Care, Trauma, etc.

Beneficiary: IU Health Foundation

Last Year’s Results: More than 750 blankets donated to patient families

Organizers: Chloe and Theresa Owens

Our Story: In 2016, we spent Thanksgiving Day (and several other days) in the hospital with our dad and grandpa, Joe DeFranco, as he was in his final days. The next Thanksgiving, we decided to do something to honor his memory and use our experience to help someone else. One thing we remember from our time in the hospital is that we were always cold. That’s the nature of hospitals, particularly ICU floors. We’re donating new blankets to individuals and families who are in the hospital with a loved one. Our hope is that these blankets will provide warmth and comfort during days that may be long, lonely, and filled with uncertainty, stress and difficult decisions. May the blankets be like a hug—a gentle reminder to patient families and loved ones that someone cares and understands. We collected more than 750 blankets for patient families. We hope to do that—and more—this year.

How You Can Participate:
Donate a NEW blanket (either store-bought or handmade—fleece, knit, crocheted, etc.). We know many can relate to our experience of losing a loved one, so blankets can be donated in honor or memory of a loved one.

Chloe’s Talking Points:

  • Have you ever lost a loved one—like a grandma or grandpa? I have.
  • Three years ago, my grandpa got sick and my mom and aunt went to the hospital to be with him in his last days. In fact, they were there over Thanksgiving.
  • So my family decided to do something to honor my Grandpa Joe and also help those who are in similar situations.
  • One thing my mom and aunt remember about the hospital is how cold they were. Hospitals are often kept cooler to fight infection.
  • So, we asked friends and family to donate blankets that could be shared with family members of patients who are hospitalized for several days.
  • It was our way of giving comfort to people who are going through a difficult time—one that can be emotional and very stressful.
  • A blanket is like a hug—it provides warmth and comfort. And we know your gift may be given because you can relate. If you want, you can give the blanket in memory of someone. Each blanket will have a tag around it with that person’s name.
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