BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “It’s the sense of normalizing and comfort. Some kids bring blankets from home but many do not, many are here after an emergency,” said Sue Mirabella, Women and Children’s hospital Child Life Specialist
Thanks to Warm Up WNY nearly 4 thousand blankets were donated to Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo on Thursday.
“It helps to relieve some anxiety right away so it’s a non-medical procedure but it provides them with a sense of comfort and normalization,” said Mirabella.
Mirabella says a simple item like a blanket can make a big difference for kids who feel anxious in the unfamiliar atmosphere of a hospital.
It hits close to home for Cynthia Ciminelli, whose son spent some unexpected time in the hospital a few years ago.
“Our son Nicholas was not able to come home and he was shivering, and when Sue came into our room she gave him a blanket and you could easily see the ease and comfort he had,” said Cynthia Ciminelli, of Oishei Children’s hospital Healing Arts Initiative Public Relations.
Because blankets are not a reimbursable expense, they aren’t readily available at the hospital.
“All of the blankets that we receive are on a pure donation basis so this is huge this will take care of the winter months,” said Ciminelli.
The blanket drive was a community wide effort that ran from November through January, and even some of the smallest community members made donations. Four year old Maddie Howell asked guests to bring blankets and toys to her birthday party.
“It makes it a more positive memory of the hospital versus remembering more anxious moments,” said Mirabella.