HHS Soccer Players Bring Brighter Days with Blankets
While Hudson High School Soccer player, Katelyn Baier, struggles with Crohn's disease, she not only copes with the symptoms, the surgeries and the pain...she also has done something about it to help others who are sometimes in an even worse condition or situation. While in the Hospital at one point dealing with Crohn's, Katelyn came up with the idea to make simple, yet colorful and comfortable, polar fleece tie blankets to be given to the kids who are in the hospital and need something to brighten their day. From that idea came the planning and more formal organization with her parents, Kevin and Teresa, to start the Blankets for a Brighter Day Foundation. The organization is all about bringing some joy and hope and a little bit of comfort to kids and patients who could really use it during their hospital stay.
With Katelyn playing on the Hudson High School soccer team this past spring as a Junior, the varsity head coach, Allie Knutson, along with her father, John Knutson Coach of the JV1 Soccer team and Lauren Cook for JV2, got together and worked with the players on the Varsity, JV1 and JV2 squads to raise money for Katelyn's Foundation so she could do more. When the tally of what the players collected from themselves and their parents got added in with contributions from the Coaches and the Strommen Family, who are Katelyn's grandparents along with other siblings and family, the total came to $2,655 to buy supplies and materials. After materials were purchased, the players got together and spent a few hours after a practice to make the tie blankets in solidarity with their teammate Katelyn...all for the benefit of other children in need. Katelyn's parents have appreciated the support from their family and the coaches by saying, "Coach John Knutson always says, 'While soccer is very important...There's more to life than soccer', and by this awesome effort to help us help others, they really proved it. The love and support from the teams is incredible!"
Many of the blankets were just delivered recently to Children's Hospital to be distributed to patients there. Katelyn's mother Teresa recently received a note from Christi Dady, Child Life Specialist for Children's Hospital, that in part read..."I think it is wonderful that your soccer team is so involved with your foundation. We look forward to receiving the new 60 blankets! Children's Hospitals and Clinics of MN is pleased to receive such wonderful support from 'Blankets for a Brighter Day'. Children's Hospital wants to express their gratitude to Katelyn and her foundation, Blankets for a Brighter Day, and also to the Hudson High School soccer team for their time, support and commitment to Children's Hospital. Your blanket donation will have a positive impact on a child's hospital experience."
The donated blankets are distributed by staff to patients of all ages throughout the hospital. Whether they are having an outpatient test, a radiology procedure or a more extensive hospital stay, a fleece blanket brings comfort and security to a sometimes challenging and unfamiliar environment. According to Dady, "Patient's love receiving a new blanket. After receiving a blanket one particular patient shared this quote with a staff member "I love my new blanket. I feel much better when I have it around me. It also helps to decorate my hospital room. The best part is I get to take it home with me!"
For more information on Blankets for a Brighter Day, contact Katelyn Baier at 715-410-6719 or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on Hudson High School Soccer, contact Allie Knutson at 651-600-4164 or by e-mail at: email@example.com
From left to right: Grandparents of Katelyn, Sherman and Mary Strommen, younger sister Shannon, Katelyn Baier, Varsity Head Coach Allie Knutson with JV1 Coach and father, John Knutson, and Katelyn's parents Teresa and Kevin Baier. The coaches were able to hand over a check for $2,655 to Katelyn to purchase supplies and materials to make more blankets for other kids in need.