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Hometown Heroes: Breelyn's Blanket Brigade

By: Jerry
Jerry's picture
Summer Porter will never the moment she arrived at the hospital after receiving the worst news a mom could ever get. Her 4 month-old baby, Breelyn, had fallen asleep at the daycare and didn't wake up. When she was given Breelyn, she was covered in two blankets made by volunteers. She says it really stood out because, as she puts it, "it meant that somebody had put the time and energy into it; that somebody was able to take care of my kid when I couldn't." Summer and her husband, David Burke, would later learn that Breelyn had died from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Summer Porter

Photo credit: Allison Shelley/AP Photos for Visitor Magazine

It was that attention to detail that inspired Summer to learn how to crochet so she could make blankets for other families who had lost children. But it wasn't until she saw her 7 year-old niece crocheting a square that it occurred to her that there could be others interested in helping make blankets, which was the impetus for Breelyn's Blanket Brigade.

Initially, it started out with 40 friends on Facebook who helped make 5" x 5" squares that would be constructed into blankets to be given to families at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park. But the group grew to more than 480 people with people in other states like Arizona, California, Hawaii, Texas, and more joining in the effort.
The project has now grown to include classrooms at local schools, where kids are learning to crochet to help add to the blankets.

We love how she has been able to turn a terrible tragedy into something that will comfort other families on their worst days. It's why we chose Summer Porter as this week's Hometown Hero!
Send squares to Breelyn's Blanket Brigade Attn: Summer Porter, P.O. Box 744 College Park, MD 20741
To read Summer's full story check out this article in Visitor Magazine
170512 SummerPorter HometownHeroes