Friday, February 11, 2011

Blankies headed to Malawi!

Wednesday morning we headed over to The Grove Church to deliver our first batch of blankies!  The church was packing a container of goods to be sent over to Malawi, and we are excited Leigh's Blankies was in it!
These girls were big helpers!

Ava (my youngest daughter), myself, Annika (my oldest) and our close friend Malia (Greg and Leigh's daughter)

Paul and my husband Jeremy

Paul Gunther, a pastor from The Grove Church (where Leigh's family attends), met us at the container in the church parking lot.  He is leading the missions team to Malawi this coming June.  He was very compassionate and very appreciative of the donation! We talked about their trip and the goods they were sending over.  He told us they had 7,000 pairs of shoes in this container for Malawi and that will still not be enough for the people they are trying to reach. They will be in contact with many villages while they are there.  24 blankets certainly doesn't seem like many, but we felt encouraged God has a purpose for each of those 24. Paul said he'd take pictures of the children with their blankets. I can't wait until June to see them! Please pray over this shipment and the team that is traveling! To see an amazing story from their last missions trip to Malawi, watch here.

So here's some more GREAT news! The Grove is sending a group off to Haiti at the end of March. Paul explained that this will be there first visit to this particular area of Haiti, and that they love to bring gifts for the people they meet.  He said the blankets would be a perfect gift and he could use as many as we can make! So we are taking that challenge and running with it.  But of course, we need more fabric! If you would like to purchase snuggle flannel fabric to donate, please contact me! Or you can make a donation by clicking the DONATE button in the left hand corner of the blog.  (FYI) Joann's Store has a huge sale right now until Feb.12th on Snuggle Flannel Fabric. A blanket requires about 2 yards of fabric. Feel free to email me

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The first batch of Blankies!

The design for the blankets for Leigh's Blankies is pretty simple.  I chose to keep it simple for two reasons...cost and time. ;)   And I wanted to keep those things in mind in creating a label for the blankies.  Most printing companies charge quite a bit for fabric labels and I haven't quite found a company I like yet.  And since we were on a deadline to get our first batch ready, I hired myself for the job.  Designing the logo for Leigh's blankies came pretty easily. Creating the label from scratch, now that was tricky! ;) I used my scrapbooking program to design the logo. With lots of research,  I finally found a great tutorial for creating the labels with fabric iron on paper and twill tape. I'm very happy with the results! 

The label's frayed ends were sealed with heat and then sewn into the seam.

 My fantastic husband, Jeremy, is a huge support to me! He absolutely adored Leigh Ann and he's been excited from the start about this ministry. I love getting his feedback on the blankies, and I love dragging him into our craft room to help once in a while. ;) 

Bolts and bolts of fabric...what a blessing!

I had a few close friends over to help with the first batch. I couldn't have done it with you all, thank you!

Our first batch...24 blankets! Each ready to bless a little one!

Again, thank you for supporting us with donations, emails and posts to facebook! Please keep it up, your encouragment is so appreciated!!!


The response to "Leigh's Blankies" has blown me away.  Thank you for your emails, kind words, posts to facebook, and donations!! You're support for this ministry, and your personal words of encouragement mean the world to me.  Thank you!

I was able to purchase 80 yards of fabric this weekend! Snuggle flannel by the yard was the cheapest I had seen it yet! I bought enough for 40 blankies. Thank you Lord! God is certainly blessing this new ministry!

We have our first "drop off" tomorrow of Leigh's Blankies!  I'm excited to share the details with you!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The story behind Leigh's Blankies...

The week before Christmas, my husband Jeremy and I visited The Grove Church with our close friend Greg (Leigh's husband) and their kids.  I had a busy Sunday morning getting my girls ready for church, out the door and placed in their unfamiliar classrooms.  I hurried into the Worship Center and we all found our seats up front for the Christmas service.

Since I had spent a good portion of the last year in tears, it wouldn't have been awkward for me to sit and cry in church.  But instead of crying, I began to take notice of the chaos around me and I surprised myself with smiling. Up the aisle came what seemed like a thousand children in their Christmas Sunday Best. They were all pushing (politely) their way up the aisle to find a decent place on the riser on stage. There were girls in Christmas bows and tu-tu's and boys in their suit jackets and dirty tennis shoes. Caden, Leigh Ann and Greg's oldest, was waiting at a microphone for his speaking part. Bailey and Malia, their other children, found their way up to the stage with their class. Even my daughter was on stage singing out of sync to a tune that she had never heard before. This all made me smile and think, "Man Leigh would have loved this!"  Yes, Leigh would have loved it all. 

It's been hard navigating  life without my best friend. Life was sweeter with her in it.  It's been hard for so many people.  Leigh Ann is greatly missed.  Even as you are reading this, I'm sure you are thinking of how she impacted you or someone you know.  And if this is the first you have ever heard of Leigh Ann, I hope it's not the last. God's light shown through Leigh in such a tender, humble, loving way.   She chose to give so much to her family, close friends, coworkers and patients at Phoenix Children's Hospital. The love she showed me changed my life, my husband's and the lives of my children.

God keeps reminding me of the light Leigh Ann radiated and how He wants us to be a light to others.  After the kiddos had sang their songs so beautifully in that morning Christmas service, a slide show began to play.  The title of the slide show read something like "The Grove Church shines God's light to Malawi". The pictures were beautiful. Church people loving on these Malawi families who are in great need. My eyes were drawn to the children.  I noticed their sweet faces. I noticed that they had clothes on their backs.  And I saw that some were wearing shoes. And then I found myself in search of a child with a blankie.  I didn't see any little ones pictured with a blankie under their arm or wrapped around their neck. And I wondered, could that be a need?

My kids love their blankies. Leigh's kids love their blankies. Blankies provide security for little ones, familiarity. I have my pink tattered blanket from my childhood, I had it with me all the time. 
I think every child needs a  blankie.  I also think every child needs to be shown Christ's light, His love, His goodness.  That light provides hope and peace that He is with us (Ephesians 2:22). Leigh Ann is in Glory now, and I miss her every hour of every day.  Along with missing her, I need to remember her. I need to remember what a light she was. 

So here enters....Leigh's Blankies!  I want children in need to have a blankie in love and in memory of Leigh Ann. Matthew 5:16 says, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." May our mission be to bring Him glory as we collect funds, collect fabric, sew until our thread runs out and hand blankies to little ones from one side of the earth to another!

How can you help?

We are collecting monetary donations towards buying supplies to make soft flannel blankies.  If you would like to make a donation, find the "donation" Paypal button on the top left corner of the blog. Each blankie will have a "Leigh's Blankies...may your light shine before men. Matthew 5:16" logo tag sewn on it. 

We plan to donate these blankies to groups that particularly impacted Leigh Ann and her family. For example, Phoenix Children's Hospital (where she worked for 10 years), The Grove Church (where her family attends) and their missions trips, etc. If you are interested in making the blankies, please email us.

Please pray for Leigh's Blankies! We desire to honor the Lord with everything we do.   We want to use the donations to the fullest potential possible.  Pray we can help touch children with God's love like Leigh did!

Please follow us on our journey! Click "follow" on the bottom left sidebar.  And add the "Leigh's Blankies" blog button to your blog, that way more people can be involved in this great mission!

If you have any thoughts or questions, please email us!