EVERY BLANKET HAS A STORY: HOW KINDNESS CAN CHANGE A LIFE
Faith Dickinson was awarded the Diana Award in 2017 for her work spreading kindness through her initative Cuddles For Cancer. Here she explains the inspiration behind her journey and how kindness can change the world.
When I was nine years old, I found out that my Aunt Lyndi had Stage 4 breast cancer so I decided to make her a special blanket. My Aunt told how much she loved the blanket as she got so very cold during her chemo treatments.
A short time after that, I made all three of my teachers blankets for year-end gifts. They were so touched that they said that they would “cuddle” into them. That day, I decided I wanted others to feel that special. That’s when I came up with ‘Cuddles For Cancer’.
To date, we have made over 4,000 Cuddle blankets which have been sent to more than thirty countries around the world. We make fleece tie blankets for anyone in need of a “cuddle”. Initially, the blankets were made for cancer patients, but now they are for people with other illnesses and diseases too. I also make blankets for veterans and soldiers who I visit in hospitals, retirement homes or in their own homes, and I also make blankets for soldiers serving overseas. I hope that my blankets will offer warmth, comfort and love to everyone that receives them.
For more than five years I made the fleece tie blankets out of my basement. But last year I opened the first Cuddles For Cancer drop-in centre in my hometown in Canada. The community has really embraced it and the support has been overwhelming. Volunteers of all ages come here to make cuddle blankets, and have already made over 100 cuddle blankets! It is a dream of mine to have drop-in locations in several countries, all run by young people.
My passion for young people stems from my belief that you are never too young to make a difference! I love to visit schools and encourage youth to find a cause that they are passionate about, then make a difference in some way, either locally or globally. I believe that youth have the power to change the world!
If I could share one message, it would be to “be kind”. Be kind in the school grounds, be kind to your family and friends, be kind to strangers, be kind in your everyday life. You never know what personal issues people could be dealing with. Being kind doesn’t cost a thing! Even a small acts of kindness can mean A LOT to someone.
Cuddles For Cancer is all about kindness. Some people may think that a blanket is nothing more than a blanket, but to others it is a sign that someone cares, a gesture to help someone going through a very difficult time in their lives. Each blanket we have made has a story. That’s over 4,000 stories from people fighting cancer or other illnesses, from veterans feeling lonely, from those who are grieving and even those who have been buried with their cuddle blankets. It’s a “cuddle” during a hard time.
As a Change_Maker I think it’s important to try to do good in some way. Everyone has something to offer the world, so I think it’s important to encourage young people to make a difference. We can do this by providing places to volunteer, by helping them find their passions, and to offer support so they can succeed.
Young people have so much to offer, so it’s important to remember, you are never too young to make a difference.