‘UMass Cares About Cancer’ Hosts Blanket Making Event

By Alvin Buyinza


(Courtesy of the UMass Cares about Cancer facebook page)

For the second consecutive year in a row, UMass Cares About Cancer hosted their annual blanket making event in room 165 of the Campus Center at the University of Massachusetts.

The UMass Cares About Cancer blanket-making event is an effort to donate handmade blankets to children and teenagers diagnosed with cancer. The group will deliver the blankets to Bay State Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and UMass Memorial Center.

People who attended the event were encouraged to start crafting their own blankets using two pieces of fleece fabrics on individual tables. Using scissors, they made two inch incisions across the borders of the fabrics then tied the loose strips together until they were a unified cloth.

Blanket sizes ranged from small to twin-sized.

According to UMass Cares About Cancer Vice President Mary McDonough, creating a blanket took roughly 15 to 20 minutes for most participants.

Co-President Julia Tager said that if someone had “never made a blanket before, it can be pretty challenging.”

According to McDonough, the executive board purchased 40 pieces of fleece from Joann’s Fabrics and Michaels. The organization was able to afford this through funding from the UMass Student Government Association.

The fabrics featured cartoons, such as Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen,” astronauts, horses and other kid-friendly images.

“We decided to go for a more winter-y themes as well as themes that children would like such as an Olaf blanket from ‘Frozen,’” McDonough said.

According to McDonough, within the first hour of the event,  a total of 15 blankets were already made. Stacks of them were piled onto the top of a desk to later deliver to the hospitals.

“Knowing that you’re doing something that will help someone in need, it makes you feel good about yourself, especially around the holiday season,” McDonough said.

Meghan Dunne, a senior economics and finance double major, felt a personal connection with the event.

“Growing up I used to make a lot of blankets for my church,” Dunne said. “I just really enjoy doing this and I thought it could be a great way to make these blankets for children in the hospital.”

Aside from making blankets, students could also make holiday cards for the children. Attendees wrote well-wishes, such as “happy holidays” and “merry Christmas.”

According to McDonough, each blanket will be delivered with a handmade card.

At the end of the event a total of 20 blankets were made, according to Tager. She plans to have another 20 blankets made at the December meeting.

At last year’s event, UMass Cares About Cancer received three thank you cards from each hospital it had donated blankets to.

Alvin Buyinza can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @abuyinza_news.