Let's face it, there is nothing quite like curling up with a comfy blanket and reading a book or watching your favorite television show. However, many of Baltimore's youth aren't afforded this simple luxury. Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing student Melissa House '11 plans to change that. On May 19, she helped present 55 handmade quilts to children at the Kennedy Krieger Institute's Southeast Early Head Start Center (SEEHS) in Baltimore City.
House, who worked at SEEHS as part of her public health nursing curriculum, was touched by the young children of low-income families who seemed to lack the basics of a warm, nurturing household. "It was difficult to see these families who had next to nothing, not even a blanket or quilt to give their children," House said. "I asked my mom who runs a small quilting organization in Texas if she could help out, and the outpouring of support from her and all her fellow quilters was truly moving!"
House's mother, Cherri, runs a business called "Cherry House Quilts" that furnishes quilting patterns, fabric, and other quilting-related items. After she was approached by her daughter, House posted a blog on her website that drew a very positive response, including that of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild. Cherri and her followers met the demand for 55 quilts of varying dimensions for boys and girls of SEEHS. Each quilt will be presented with a children's book with the hope that each recipient will have a designated "quiet corner" to cuddle with their quilt and read his/her book.
"Hopefully these quilts can offer some warmth and hope to the needy children," Melissa House notes.