Vaughan became the coordinator for her chapter, which contributes to children in Henry, Fayette, Spalding, Butts, Lamar, Upson and Pike counties, almost by default.
“The two ladies that had the chapter decided, because of age, they would not be able to continue,” she said. “I just could not see our local chapter ceasing to exist and knew I had to take it over and continue the chapter.”
That she did and has continued to do so for the past three years. The mission of the organization, however, is much deeper than the simplistic premise of blankets of children. “Basically, volunteers make blankets and we coordinate delivery to children in need,” Vaughan said. “The blankets are designed for critical children in crisis, either long term or immediate.”
For instance, the fire department might give a hand crafted blanket to a child that was a victim of a house fire or auto accident, Vaughan provided.
Situations like those are immediate. Long-term instances might include a child in a local pediatrics NICU ward. Contrary to popular misconception, each blanket has a purpose and is not distributed freely.
“Each blanket is distributed through agencies like DFACS, life flight, emergency rooms or the critical care units at hospitals, fire departments, police departments or sheriff offices,” Vaughn said.
All labor is 100 percent donated, Vaughan said, and all materials are donated as well, an ever-growing need for the organization.
“We are always in need of materials, materials, materials,” she said. “Not only do we need materials such as quilting or blanket type materials, but also monetary funds to cover the cost of blanket labels, scissor and the like, the cost of mailings and other things. We never have enough resources to meet the needs.”
“It is natural to think about the common needs of people like food, water and shelter,” Vaughan said. “But there is also a need to help calm that initial reaction to a catastrophe. There is something about a blanket that will help soothe ones fears to the point that the mind can work through the situation, especially for a child.”