I was struck with open jaw when I first saw pictures of my daughter's orphanage in China. There were 45 metal cribs all lined up with wooden boards that formed the bottoms. Each child was given a white was cloth as their "lovey" or "woobie" as we call it in our house to use as a comfort object. But not one crib had a blanket or mattress to lay on.
This orphanage is situated in the far south of China and it is brutally hot in the summer months. So, yes, I do understand why heavy blankets would not be appropriate. I also know that many Chinese believe that it is best for everyone's health to sleep on a hard surface. If you have ever had the privilege of sleeping in a hotel in China you know what I am talking about. In addition, the nannies have so much to do. Can you even imagine the thought of changing 45 children's diapers, feeding them 4 bottles a day each, lifting them in and out of the cribs to play for a short while on the floor? Overwhelming. How could they add soft comfort objects to the laundry if not absolutely necessary?
But my Western values still crept up a bit when I saw my daughter in a crib with metal and wood only. I bristled at the thought for 7 weeks before I could travel to China and give her a soft pink blanket with satin edging and a pastel flower embroidered in the corner.
My babe loves that pink blanket. She drags it around the house slung over her shoulder with a thumb popped in her mouth. She is Linus. I call the blanket Pink. I usually just call her Pink.
So, when the opportunity landed in my lap to think globally but act locally, I jumped. A woman at Ava's preschool asked me if I would sew a few blankets for Project Linus. They give me the material and all I have to do is sew up some soft warm blankies for children here in my town who might not have their own blanket to love and use for comfort. I think they focus on children who are sick or have found themselves in a circumstance where their parents or guardians cannot afford to give them a blanket of their own to keep forever.
If you like to sew or have a little free time look up your local chapter of Project Linus. I bet they would love a little help. Its a great way to act in a small way but have an impact on a child's life.