ETX group makes weighted blankets for foster kids

ETX group makes weighted blankets for foster kids

GILMER, TX (KLTV) - The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reports over six hundred foster children live in the East Texas area.

For some, previous trauma and neglect are the reasons behind why a child is in a foster home.

A group of women in Gilmer is working to give these children comfort by creating special blankets for them.

"When they put this blanket on them it weighs them down and the pressure causes them to calm down and relax," said Melanie Wright, member of the Weight Blanket Ministry.

The added weight sewn into the blankets stimulates the production of serotonin, which, in turn, converts to melatonin, the hormone that tells the body to sleep.

"A lot of things happen to them at night, and they can't calm down," said Kara Curfman of Legacy Closet.

The weighted blankets are custom made, each weighing 10% plus a pound of the child's weight.
           
"When I saw people saying, 'gosh, I need a weighted blanket, but I don't know if it will work the child is here only for a week, or a month and it's $150,'  I thought you know what we can do this, we can provide this," said Curfman

Curfman with the nonprofit 'Legacy Closet' began making the blankets in 2012.

In 2014, Melanie Wright, a former foster parent joined the effort.

Eventually, the project grew into a group called the Weighted Blanket Ministry, all the blankets are donated to kids in the foster care system throughout East Texas.

Volunteers create the shell of the blanket during their spare time, and then once a month the group meets to assemble them.

The blank is made up of pockets, which are filled with donated plastic pellets.

"We have some people who don't sew, they just fill the channels," Said Curfman. "It takes a lot of people and a lot of math, but we figured it for all the sizes."
 Both women say each blanket takes a lot of time and detail but it's all worth it if it means giving a child a good night's rest.

The Weighted Blanket Ministry is in need of volunteers.

If you're interested in helping out, you can contact them at legacyoflongview@gmail.com or on their Facebook page "legacy closet."

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