On the morning of Saturday September 21, 2019, circus tents stood tall on a football field in Rochester Hills, MI.
Underneath those tents were 400 folding tables and 2,000+ blankets.
The plan was simple: set the Guinness World Record for most fleece blankets made in 8 hours.
We planned the event for 15 sponsors and 500 people. In the end, 40 community sponsors and 1,316 people supported the effort AND braved a freak thunderstorm (strong enough to take down the tents) to set the Guinness World Record in just 7 hours.
This story, in a nutshell, sums up the fourth quarter of our fourth fiscal year.
Planning for one thing and adjusting for something different.
Overwhelming support that far exceeded expectations.
Crazy setbacks on our climb that turned into memorable fuel for growth.
As Fleece & Thank You starts its fifth fiscal year and continues the climb toward 30,000 blankets annually, there are noteworthy points along the way worth celebrating.
- We have had over 150,000 people touch our blankets at some point in the process, and we are about to handle our 60,000th blanket.
- We are about to lead our 1,000th community blanket making event, and have had over 1,500 volunteers sign up to support our effort.
- We have just raised our $1,000,000 dollar to provide comfort for kids in the hospital.
These numbers are just that: numbers. The story they tell is much more compelling.
It is a story of a multitude of people, all from diverse backgrounds, cultures, ages, and groups that have united to provide comfort and connection for kids facing extended stays in the hospital.
It is the story of people who have sacrificed to further a mission of hope.
It is the story of patients who are fighting the good fight and the parents and family members who stand beside them.
It is the story of the good that can unfold when people who care get together to make a difference.
We did a recent interview that will soon air on CBS, and the reporter asked me a thought-provoking question.
“Nicholas, what is your favorite part about Fleece & Thank You?”
How do you have just ONE favorite part of something you have lived daily for four years?
As I collected my thoughts, my answer was clear.
My favorite part about Fleece & Thank You is that everyone, from volunteer to event host to hospital patient to family member, and every role in between, leaves our organization a better person than before they found us. In turn, we are better because of them as well.
I believe this state of continually improving lives speaks to the love each person we meet imparts on our organization and our mission. Whether it be one knot, one dollar, or one thought, everyone we meet helps us climb the mountain.
Thank you to everyone who has climbed with us so far.
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