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Warm Regards

Eleven-year-old Lucy Blaylock, founder of nonprofit Lucy’s Love Blankets, supports children in need, one blanket at a time.

Lucy Blaylock, founder of nonprofit Lucy’s Love Blankets

Lucy Blaylock, founder of nonprofit Lucy’s Love Blankets.

It’s often simple things that bring the most comfort—a warm cup of tea, a thoughtful greeting card or, as recipients of Lucy’s Love Blankets would agree, a homemade blanket.

When the Gallatin, TN, native was taught to sew in 2017, she gifted a flannel blanket to a friend for her birthday. “I like the feeling of making others feel good,” Blaylock says. “That’s how I got the idea to make blankets for kids who needed a little extra love during hard times.”

Fast Faves

TV show: “The Suite Life on Deck”
Movies: Mulan, Beauty and the Beast and Little Women
Celebrity: Kristen Bell, Ariana Grande and Dove Cameron
Song: “Geronimo” by Sheppard
Animal: Sloths and koalas
Food: Chick-fil-A
Game: Monopoly, but it’s so long nobody wants to play!

Blaylock brought the idea to her parents, urging them to help her organize a giveaway. Her mom was supportive, sharing the idea on Instagram (@lucysloveblankets). The campaign quickly gained traction, receiving a total of 16 nominations from families with children suffering from a variety of medical conditions and other emotional hardships. “I couldn’t just pick one kid to help,” Blaylock recalls. “So I begged my mom to let me make blankets for all of them!”

Since the first giveaway three years ago, Blaylock has made nearly 600 blankets for children in 16 countries around the world. She reviews nominations sent by families, learning as much as she can about each child before selecting a pattern. “I especially like when people send pictures of their child because you really get an idea of what they would like,” she explains. “Like, if a boy is wearing camo, you can tell he likes camo!” Popular designs have included sloths, cactuses, unicorns, mermaids and monkeys.

Blaylock spends hours pinning, sewing and topping each blanket off with a signature hand-stitched heart appliqué. Each blanket also comes with a poem that reads: I have lots of love I’d like to share. So I made you a blanket to show I care. When you’re feeling down and lonely at night, just look at this blanket and snuggle it tight. Whether you’re happy or sad, or just feeling blue, I hope this reminds you that someone loves you! Love, Lucy.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Blaylock expanded her efforts to sew masks for workers on the front lines. “Masks are much quicker than blankets,” she says, mentioning how the whole family gets together on Sundays to work around the dining room table. The youngest of nine siblings, Blaylock says her family is quite an efficient team. “Everyone has a job—cutting, pinning, sewing,” she says. “It’s fun and makes everyone feel good.”   

Blaylock’s philanthropic efforts have earned her several awards, including the Governor’s Volunteer Stars Award, the President’s Volunteer Service Award and the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. But connecting with the families who receive her blankets is what warms her heart most. “We keep in touch on social media and stay friends with a lot of them,” she says, adding that parents of the kids often find support through one another online. “It’s more than blankets—it’s a community.”

Beyond her sucessful nonprofit, here Blaylock shares more details about her personal interests as well as what it’s like being a sixth grader in a pandemic.   

How’s school going? We’re doing hybrid schooling where they split the grade in half. Half go Monday and Tuesday, and the others do Thursday and Friday. Wednesday we all do Zoom.

What is your at-school fashion style? I’m pretty laidback, so I’m always in leggings or high-waisted, ripped jeans. We live in the south, so a lot of the girls dress very girly, but I’ve always liked stuff that’s more edgy. My favorite shirts are the kind with the knots in front.

What color do you wear most? Mustard and olive green.

Do you accessorize often? Yes. I wear earrings, necklaces and layered bracelets. I also like thick headbands.

What about shoes? I like the classics—Vans, Converse and Adidas.

What trends are you noiticng among your friends? Birkenstocks are still big, which I also love. Paperbag-waisted pants are popular. I also still see tennis shoes with dresses a lot.

Have you done any shopping since Covid-19 hit? I do all of my shopping online now. We usually go to Old Navy, but this year we got fancy and did some shopping at Justice and H&M. We basically looked for where we could find back-to-school sales.

Any advice for kids looking to volunteer? Definitely go for it. It’s feels so good to spend time helping kids who need it. You’re going to make friends and feel good about what you do every day.

How can people support Lucy’s Blankets? Donations are a huge help to cover shipping costs and supplies. To donate, visit @LucysLoveBlankets on Instagram and click the Venmo link in the description. Thanks!

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