Letters to the Editor

Crafting comfort for children in need | Letters

My name is Briana Ryan; I am 11-years-old and in the 6th grade. I go to school at Poulsbo Middle School. My mom and I are guild members of Katie’s Comforters. We make quilts and blankets for the kids at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. The guild is run by Karen Gerstenberger.

Karen’s daughter, Katie, was treated for cancer at the children’s hospital in 2006 and 2007 and she died when she was about 8-years-old. She used a quilt her mother made for her to do things like distract her during procedures, cover her nose when something smelled bad, and most importantly, as a comfort. When Katie died, her mother found comfort in making quilts and started a group to donate them to kids at the hospital.

This year, the group made more than 215 blankets and grew in numbers to an amazing 50 members. The group has only been active for a year, but it has made a huge difference in kids’ lives and I am proud to be a part of it. When my mom and I make a blanket, I always know that we have brightened one more kid’s day in the world just by showing we care. Besides the physical uses of the blanket, I think it gives them the feeling that someone cares about them and they care enough to put time, effort and money into making something for them. This gives them hope, happiness, strength and courage to keep moving and enjoy life and its gifts. It’s so cool that so many people do this and that every blanket is different. Some are crocheted, some are sewn and some are knitted. The ones my mom and I make are assembled from polar fleece.

My hope in writing this letter is that we can get even more people to make comforters or donate new fabric to our guild for the kids at the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Anyone who wants to learn more can visit the blog or check us out on Facebook. Our blog is www.katiescomfortersguild.com.

Thank you for your time and thanks for listening to my story. I really appreciate it.

Briana Ryan

Poulsbo

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