Harris' Heroes: Middle school 'angels' make blankets for newborns, sick children

An "angel" makes a blanket. (WJLA photo)

BOWIE, Md. (WJLA) – Twice a month, a group of seventh- and eighth-grade girls at St. Pius X Regional School in Bowie come to the air room after school and tie knots to make fleece blankets.

Abby Potter, 13, has been a “Blanket Angel” from the beginning.

“My sister started this club, so I started with her," she said.

That was six years ago. Now, her sister and the two other "founding angels" are freshmen in college. The group has grown to 30 girls, and has delivered close to 2,400 blankets to newborns and sick children in hospitals spanning from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore.

Mary Kate Allen's sister was among those sick children.

"She just said it, like, made her day. To think that someone can just have a blanket and be a lot happier is, like, a good feeling to have," added 13-year-old Mary Kate.

And that's why the girls come back week after week.

"I know that a sick kid might not be getting better, but they're at least feeling better because of the blankets we're making," said fellow "Blanket Angel" Alayna Martinez.

Barbara Klebasko and Maureen Barber are a big part of the group's success. Their granddaughters started the "Blanket Angels" and since their first delivery, they've been hooked.

"Sure, it's a lot of work, but it's very rewarding," Klebasko said.

Barber added, "We think it's just a little blanket, but for a mom who's got a baby in the NICU and then she gets this little blanket and it's just this ray of hope."

Barber and Klebasko pay for the materials for the blankets upfront. To offset those costs, the "Blanket Angels" organize bake sales, raffles and other fundraisers.

To learn more about the "Blanket Angels," contact St. Pius X Regional School.

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