Bridget Sherman of New Boston, Mo., usually tags along with her younger brother, Willie, when he gets his annual check-up at Children’s Hospital in Columbia. The last time she visited, she brought warm blankets for the patients.
“I think it’s great,” said Pat Wood, MU Extension 4-H youth development associate. “It’s just an outpouring of her heart.”
Twelve-year-old Sherman said she got the idea by looking at the MU Extension 4-H Web site. While looking for ways to get involved in the program, she found information about Kids Helping Kids, a fund devoted to helping 4-H members and their families in times of need through donations made by other 4-H’ers. Sherman said she didn’t have much money to donate, but she still wanted to help other kids.
“She’s always coming up with new ideas,” said Tammy Sherman, Bridget’s mom. “She thinks ahead and thinks about other people.”
Bridget remembered what it was like at the hospital visiting her brother, who is now in remission from leukemia.
“They were wearing the exact same thing, and they had the exact same hospital blanket,” she said of the patients. “I thought I could make something that would make them a little happier, something to give them their individuality back.”
Sherman decided to donate fleece fringe bed accessories, which she learned to make from her grandma in her 4-H quilting project. Sherman has exhibited her blanket creation in the 4-H building at the Missouri State Fair and demonstrated how to make them while answering questions from the fair-going crowd.
To make a blanket, she ties the fringe of two large pieces of fleece material together. She makes pillows by tying two smaller pieces of fleece together and stuffing it with batting. Sherman said she always keeps an eye out for bright colors and bold patterns for new blankets.
“I try to go for stuff that will look good to young children, both boys and girls,” she said.
“When we go to Walmart, we always have to stop and see if the fleece is on clearance,” said her mom, who estimates Sherman has already given 10 blankets to children in the hospital.
Sherman is already looking forward to her next donation.
“I plan on writing a letter to explain where this came from,” Sherman said. “I’ll tell them what happened to my brother and let them know it’s going to be okay.”