A tragic car accident on March 6, 2010 took the life of Leigh Ann Tonkinson (35) of Gilbert, Arizona. Leigh Ann was a light to her family, friends , church, and to those she came in contact with at Phoenix Childrens Hospital, where she worked as a nursing supervisor. Leigh Anns death impacted many people, including Andra Good (director) who had been lifelong friends with her since high school. "Getting used to life without her here has been incredibly hard", says Andra, "Life is not as sweet without Leigh Ann in it."
After teaching herself to sew by watching YouTube, Andra found sewing to be therapeutic. Then, one Sunday, as Andra sat in Leigh's church watching a slideshow of children from a village in Malawi, she noticed that not one single child had a blankie in their arms. She thought of how much her children and Leighs children loved their blankies. She wanted to share that comfort and security with every child by giving them a blankie. "Leigh Ann's home is heaven now, but through Leigh's Blankies we can keep her memory alive. It feels like a gift from God."
On February 5, 2011, Leigh Ann's birthday, Andra launched Leigh's Blankies . The soft flannel blankies have a unique design and are made with a sewing machine . The blankies each have a Leigh's Blankies' label sewn into the seam, which includes their logo and scripture verse, Matthew 5:16 let your light shine before men. The blankies are entirely made by volunteers either at sewing groups that meet throughout Arizona and California, or by take home blankie kits that include supplies and instructions. Individual blankies are also sold at special events for $20 each. For every blankie sold, two others are donated to children in need. God has grown this ministry very quickly and the need for blankies continues to increase.
Since February of 2011, over 5000 blankies have been made by people from all over the community and have gone to children in many different countries, such as India, Poland, Honduras, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines, Liberia, Costa Rica, Haiti, and Malawi. US organizations have also received the blankies such as Christian Family Care Agency, Young Lives (teen moms), tornado victims in Joplin, Missouri, Crisis Pregnancy Center (Arizona), Phoenix Childrens Hospital, Cardons Children's Hospital (Arizona) and others. Many individual children with challenging circumstances have also been recipients of the blankies.
Copyright Leigh's Blankies 2017
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