Sharing the Weight

Today my cousin and fellow Project Quilt-er, Kerry is going to be taking over my blog. She asked if I would share with my readers about an organization that does a really important thing for children and adults in need.  Before we find out more about “Sharing the Weight” I want you to hear Teddy’s story. 
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After nearly 2 years of testing and questioning and plenty of medical visits, our 2.5-year-old son Teddy was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Multiple Congenital Anomalies-Hypotonia-Seizures Syndrome 1. Despite his low muscle tone, global developmental delays and seizures, Teddy is one of the happiest and most social children you could imagine ... unless you try to make him sleep. Then we went through phases where he screamed like he was being tortured, woke up for several hours during the night and needed to be rocked soundly to sleep before he could be set down.
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One of the things we wanted to try to help him sleep better was a weighted blanket, but those can cost more than $200 (and waiting for insurance approval would probably take about 4-6 months based on our experience with other things). Rather than invest that much money into something we weren't sure would work or wait another 4 to 6 months to get some much needed sleep, I decided to make one. That's when I found the organization Sharing the Weight, which distributes weighted blankets at no cost to children and adults in need. I followed Sharing the Weight's tutorial, which was easy to understand and didn't require advanced sewing skills, and ended up with an adorable blanket for Teddy.
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We're two nights in with the weighted blanket, so I can't guarantee it's success for him, but he's slept through the night both times! In addition to helping with sleep, weighted blankets are often used to help individuals to cope with their emotions instead of acting out inappropriately.
If you want to know more about Teddy's story, you can follow his story on Teddy's Triumphs and Trials.

How can you help “Share the Weight”?

Sharing the Weight is an all-volunteer non-profit organization that donates weighted blankets at minimal cost (just shipping – $15 in the US and $40 internationally) to both adults and children in need, and their waiting list is currently more than 4,000 people!
The weighted blankets most requested are the 10 lb. blanket, followed by the 7 lb blanket.
The link for the tutorial to make these blankets is here:
http://www.sharingtheweight.org/how-to-make-a-weighted-blanket/

Completed blankets can be mailed their main address for distribution:

Sharing The Weight
132 W. 5th St.
Ottumwa, IA 52501

UPDATE:

They are happy to accept the "Shells" of blankets too (no pellets). They bring these along to events.

If you'd like to purchase some weighted pellets here they are: Polypropylene Plastic Poly Pellets, 5 Lbs. in Heavy Duty Resealable Bag. Weighted for Stuffing & Filling Dolls & Crafts, Blankets and Corn Hole Size Bean Bags. or you may be able to find them at your local craft shop.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks, Kim, for sharing this! I'm hoping a few quilters will take on this challenge of a different kind of project.

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  2. Wonderful project. i downloaded the tutorial to see if I can figure this out.

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  3. The link for the poly pellets does not work. It says the user chose to delete their account or something like that. Could you post a corrected link? Janet Hartje

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  4. thank you for sharing! My neighbor just got one for her daughter and after looking at it, I wondered about making another one for her. She uses one blanket for home and school and has seen a huge difference. I'm sure one or both of my twins could have used one...and maybe still could. I know others from our church who would want one for their children with autism, sensory disorders, etc. THANK YOU so much for sharing!

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