Every child in pain needs a blanket to cling to, believes Wanda Moon of Nashville.
That’s why she started a Nashville chapter of Binky Patrol, a national organization that provides security blankets, known to some people as ‘binkies,’ for traumatized children.
‘There are kids out there who are being abused or have lost everything in a fire. If we can just give them something they can hang onto, it’s kind of a comfort thing. It’s something that’s all theirs,’ Moon said.
The chapter began last June and has only two members, but between them they’ve churned out 107 blankets since February for Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Moon also finds needy children through the media, church and donation jars around town.
Moon and her volunteer, Patricia Bateman of Dickson, also make clothing for premature babies born too small to wear store-bought items.
‘Four or five years ago, those babies were still undressed except for their diaper,’ said Marlee Crankshaw, a case manager for Vanderbilt’s NICU. ‘Being dressed in infant clothes makes the baby look a little less critical, and it makes the parents feel a little better.’
When Moon crochets a blanket, she doesn’t know who will snuggle under it. Still, she makes each one unique.
‘When I’m making them, I’m wondering who the child is that will get it and what caused the trauma they may be suffering. I hope they can feel the love that’s put into each of them,’ she said.
Moon, an executive secretary for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, is looking for volunteers to help make blankets, but she’ll also accept donated sewing supplies. Those interested can call 830-7999.
The nonprofit group Binky Patrol was founded five years ago in Laguna Beach, Calif. It includes more than 160 chapters and 3,000 volunteers nationwide.
Nicole Garton is a general assignment reporter for The Tennessean. She can be reached at 726-5957 or email@example.com.