Teenager donating tie-blankets to Children’s-Wisconsin Fox Valley Hospital in Neenah

Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 4:30 PM CDT
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Fourteen-year-old Parker Wilson has been busy making blankets because she recently discovered a need at Neenah’s Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

“They one day told me they just didn’t have enough boy blankets,” said Wilson.

Wilson has ulcerative colitis, a disease that impacts digestion and requires her to get infusion treatments, a process that takes hours.

So patients at the infusion center are offered blankets to provide some comfort.

“For younger kids it could be like a scary experience,” said Wilson. “So it’s kind of like a comfort to them so they don’t get nervous and stuff like that.”

However care staff told Wilson they struggle to find blankets with neutral patterns, and have mostly “girly” options.

“Since I was little I’ve kind of been like a tomboy,” said Wilson. “Girl patterns would be a little weird for me, and especially for the boys that are into boyish things it would be really weird to have to sit there for two or three hours with a girl blanket over you.”

So, she got the idea to make some neutral and boyish blankets with help from Holy Spirit Parish in Kimberly.

“I was like 'Oh yeah, definitely. We’ve done tie-blankets before for different organizations,” said Youth Minister Sarah Elmer.

Elmer says they purchased materials and several middle and high school members are helping Wilson make blankets that will be donated to the infusion center.

“For them to take ownership, that’s what we really want to happen because it’s one thing if I just, like, foist it on them, but if they can be excited and passionate about something that’s what I’d like to draw forth from them to share with others,” said Elmer.

Plus, it’s an easy way for younger people to give back when their options are limited.

“That’s amazing, yeah, especially during these times when, what can you do for service? And so this is something even a family could just get material and work on it together around a table,” said Elmer.

“It’s fantastic, it’s great that people are thinking about other people at this time,” said Wilson.

Wilson hopes her project for the children’s hospital will inspire others to do the same.

“So that they can get more donations and more help during this,” said Wilson.

Wilson says in addition to blankets the hospital also uses puzzle books, coloring books, and other activities so kids can stay occupied with receiving treatment. So those items could be donated to the hospital as well.

If you’d like to help but don’t have time to make blankets, Holy Spirit Parish does tie-blanket projects often and will accept donations of fleece fabrics. The church is located at 620 E Kimberly Ave, Kimberly, WI 54136.

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