The Ripple Effect of Kindness


"No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves." Amelia Earhart

This quote from Amelia Earhart is spot on when reflecting on KindCraft's blanket events this month. There are new "roots and trees" springing up all over the Kansas City metro area with hundreds of people joining in on the blanket making fun!

How did this blanket event begin?

Three years ago, KindCraft held the first No Sew Fleece Blanket gathering. This was the event that led to the formation of the nonprofit. For the 4th annual KindCraft blanket event, we asked if others wanted to participate in hosting their own KindCraft blanket party. Several people volunteered to host private events and there were two events opened to all KindCrafters (at Ball Conference Center and Olathe Northwest High School). You can read more about KindCraft's Olathe Northwest High School event here.

Event Impacts

All together, a whopping total of approximately 350 blankets and 83 fleece scarves were made. Over 1000 people participated in making a blanket including families, friends, neighbors, Girl Scout troops, Boy Scouts, basketball teams, an entire elementary school, and small groups from various churches.

These blankets were donated (or are soon to be donated) to a variety of organizations including KVC, Children's Mercy South, Children's Mercy downtown, Olathe Hospice House, Kansas Palliative and Hospice Care, Jadon's Hope, the Ronald McDonald house, and several other local organizations.

Lets take a look at some of the results from the various events!

Location: Ball Conference Center

Led by: Theresa Stoker and Molly Reynolds

Number of participants: 130

Number of blankets made: 50

Donated to: Kansas Palliative and Hospice Care

Event Feedback: KindCraft believes its important to expose children to a variety of needs in the area and to fully develop compassion for others, children need to understand who exactly will benefit from their blanket. We try to begin each event with a short lesson on what cause we are supporting.

Aubrey Mraz and her husband Phil, spoke about palliative and hospice care at the beginning of this event. Aubrey asked if any of the participants had lost a family member to an illness. She explained that at her work, they send a team of nurses and clinical staff to their home to take care of their loved one when they have an incurable illness. Aubrey explained to the kids that they do their very best to keep them out of the hospital. She explained why the elderly are cold all the time. Their bodies don't heat like ours do anymore. And those with an advancing illness will find comfort from these blankets. Their grandchild or family member will have a memory of their loved one attached to this blanket.

For those with dementia or cognitive impairments, the tied portions of the blankets will be a distraction for their hands to help ease their anxiety. Because patients average approximately 130 days on service (some much longer than that), the staff gets to know the patients. They will pick out a blanket that is unique to their likes.

Several of the blankets have already been delivered to patients! One of Aubrey's home health aids called to tell her how excited his patient was when she received her Christmas blanket from KindCraft. He said the blanket brought her the biggest smile and made her so happy. He said it was the best feeling delivering to her. She was abandoned and bed bound when the organization got word of her. But she was brought to tears by the blanket. It made her SO happy.

Location: Olathe Northwest

Led by: Jami Jo Paugh Lutt and Courtney Smith

Number of participants: 165

Number of blankets made: 120

Donated to: Children's Mercy South and Children's Mercy Downtown

Event feedback: For most of the group, it was their first time making blankets! You could feel the excitement in the air as groups found their spot on the floor. "Families" included the traditional mother, father, and children, but there were several other "families" present as well, including this basketball team who worked as a team making several blankets. They even were caught carrying a huge stack of blankets, chanting "Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork".

The blankets have already been delivered to the hospitals and even handed out to some patients. This sweet patient was happy to receive her blanket after heart surgery. To see the joy the blankets bring is truly an overwhelming feeling!

Location: Regency Place

Led by: Sarah Reynolds

Number of participants: 52

Number of blankets made: 34 blankets

Donated to: Children's Mercy

Event feedback: "The event went great! People pitched in and helped others. It was a really wonderful night! I loved watching people as they finished their blankets look around for others they could help," Sarah Reynolds

Location: Arbor Creek Elementary

Led by: Kate Coleman and Jennifer Falor

Number of participants: Just over 100 people

Number of blankets made: 50 blankets

Donated to: Jadon's Hope and Ronald McDonald House

Event feedback: "The event went very well!!! Everyone was excited to participate. Afterwards, many parents thanked us for the opportunity. It was great community building for a great cause." Kate Coleman and Jennifer Falor

Location: Prairie Trail Middle School Choir

Led by: Erin Stewart

Number of participants:

Number of blankets made:30

Donated to: Children's Mercy

Location: Meadowlane Elementary School

Led by: Scott Wade and Heather Beveridge

Number of participants: 48

Number of blankets made: 35

Donated to: Children’s Mercy Hospital, NourishKC, Meals on Wheels, area animal shelter / KC Zoo

Event feedback: "Everyone was engaged. People helped each other. Everyone had a good time." Scott Wade

Location:Walters home in Olathe, KS

Led by: Chrissy Walter

Number of participants: 17

Number of blankets made: 14

Donated to: Children's Mercy

Location: Clearwater Creek Elementary

Led by: Tiffany Seamen

Number of participants: 48

Number of blankets made: 12

Donated to: KVC

Event feedback: "The event went wonderfully! The parents and Girl Scouts loved the event, and loved that they were giving back to others during the holiday season. It went very smoothly with the amazing directions and guides provided.The girls were able to make the blankets, and felt good about doing so! We appreciate you allowing our Daisy Troop to participate, and for allowing our girls the opportunity to give back this holiday season." Tiffany Seamen.

Location: Riverview Elementary (Shawnee, KS)

Led by: Casey Walker

Number of participants: 427 (entire school)

Number of blankets made: 83 fleece scarves and 18 blankets

Donated to: Keeping KC's Homeless Warm and Olathe Hospice House

Event Feedback: "The event was very successful. The kids were excited to be helping 83 homeless people stay warm this winter and also to have the blankets bless patients at Olathe Hospice House. It was awesome to see all 427 Riverview students work together to bless their community."

Location: Aldridge home (Lenexa, KS)

Led by: Stacy Aldridge

Number of participants: 40

Number of blankets made: 18 blankets

Donated to: Children's Mercy

Event feedback: "We precut the blankets the night before the event so the kids could just loop them the night of the event. I think we could do even more blankets if we do it again next year." Stacy Aldridge

There were several who weren't able to participate at one of the event locations, so the just did the activity as a family at home! They dropped off the blankets to KindCraft. We even had a few mailed from out of state. Here are a few pictures sent from KindCrafters!