Lucy Blaylock and Tori Holmes live nearly 800 miles apart, but together, they are brightening other children’s days with handmade “hugs.”
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The girls have plenty in common. Both have compassionate souls, hearts of gold, and a passion for spreading joy to those who need it most. That’s why they’re busy putting their sewing skills to good use!
Lucy, who is in Gallatin, Tennessee, made her first blanket three years ago as a birthday present for a friend. When it turned out well, she realized her handiwork could comfort other children facing tough times.
So with her mom’s permission, she set up a giveaway on Instagram. She received requests from kids who were experiencing cancer, autism, bullying, divorce, and loss.
In the years since then, the 11-year-old has sent 500 “Lucy’s Love Blankets” to kids in dozens of states and 14 countries. Today, she’s also creating face masks for health care workers fighting against COVID-19.
She sees her gifts as more than blankets. They’re gestures of love!
“It makes me excited when I think of the kids getting the package in the mail and opening it,” she told The Washington Post. “I always hope they know someone cares about them.”
As for 13-year-old Tori, who lives in Corning, New York, her blankets were inspired by a difficult time in her own life. When she was 6, her mom Kim was diagnosed with leukemia. The weary parent spent six months in the hospital, while Tori lived with her aunt.
She missed her mom terribly, so one night, her aunt pointed out the window and changed her perspective. “Tori, do you see those stars and the moon?” she said. “Those are the same stars and the same moon that your mom is looking at right now.”
Years later, her mom was in remission and Tori began making pairs of fleece blankets to help families that had been separated by similar circumstances – one for the adult guardians and one for the child. So far, she’s given more than 50 of them to families, hospitals, and schools. Each one has a star pattern on one side to remind recipients, “Even though you are separated by highways, you’re connected through star ways.”
Both girls received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, which recognizes young people who make a difference for their neighbors. While both of them were honored, what’s most important is showing everyone, near and far, that they care!
We can’t praise Lucy and Tori enough! Their families must be so proud, and every child cuddling with their blanket must feel so loved. Keep up the great work, you two!
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