Inspiring Stories

Handmade Blankets to Warm and Encourage

Squares that care

A warm blanket can seem like such a simple thing. Yet sometimes the simplest acts of kindness can mean the most.

It’s that simple act of kindness – providing a warm blanket to someone in need – that spawned a recent community service project led by a team of employees at Methodist Hospital.

Celebrating friendship

The Celebrations Team at Methodist Hospital does several projects each year to help unite Methodist employees. They spearhead food drives and pumpkin carving contests to inspire morale and teamwork. But this latest project had a twist. They asked employees to contribute quilt squares to sew personal blankets for residents at Omaha’s Stephen Center

“Our theme was friendship,” said Linda Dammann, a member of the Celebrations Team and an employee in Patient Care Administration. “We wanted the people who would be receiving and using these blankets to know that we care about them. Methodist cares about them.”

The result surprised even the committee. They collected enough fabric squares to create 13 blankets of various sizes to Omahans in need.

Stitch by stitch

Linda collected all the squares, and over a single weekend, she and her aunt assembled and sewed all the pieces together. Then came time for a big team effort.

Members of the Celebrations Team, including Linda, Mary Keitel, Deena Brown, Stacey Miskie, Lacy Beaver, Rita Kalkowski and Michelle Olmo, spent hours binding and tying the blankets together. 

“After the team saw how beautiful the blankets were after Linda and her aunt sewed them together, everybody got excited because they were so fun and gorgeous,” said Mary. “We wanted to hurry up and get them tied so we could get them delivered and people could enjoy them.”

A very special quilt

One of the most amazing quilts is one that was specially decorated by members of the Methodist Hospital staff and volunteers. The Celebrations Team offered pre-cut squares and asked employees to help make them beautiful and meaningful.

“These were pre-cut squares and they used fabric markers to decorate them,” said Linda. “The result was something really heartfelt and beautiful. It really sums up this whole project when you see how this warm blanket will cover someone in love.”