Since first learning to sew three years ago to make a quilt for a friend's birthday, the youngster has made 500 blankets for kids in 14 countries and all over the United States.
Lucy Blaylock has known since the age of eight that her heart lies in volunteering and helping those in need. While many of her age devote their time to playing games and doing things you'd generally expect of teenagers, Lucy spends her time sewing cozy blankets for kids going through difficult times. Since first learning to sew three years ago to make a quilt for a friend's birthday, the youngster has made 500 blankets for kids in 14 countries and all over the United States. Now, in light of the pandemic, the 11-year-old has turned her attention to helping keep the healthcare heroes safe by sewing and donating facemasks.
According to Good Morning America, Lucy first began using her sewing skills for good three years ago when she asked her mom if they could put together a blanket giveaway for children in need. After posting about the initiative on social media, they received messages from parents of 16 kids battling cancer, autism, bullies, and a move to a new city, the young girl simply couldn't choose from them. "When I told her it was time to pick, she started crying and said she couldn't pick just one," her mom Veronica Blaylock said. "She wanted to do one for all of them so we got sewing."
"I was inspired because I wanted to make a difference," Lucy told The Tennessean, "I wanted to be able to spread love, and I just wanted to make people happy." Thus was born Lucy's Love Blankets, a donation-driven nonprofit initiative for kids around the world who could use a little extra love. The teen spends two hours with her sewing machine for each flannel blanket which feature a signature felt heart with Lucy's name handsewn into it.
"It makes me excited when I think of the kids getting the package in the mail and opening it," said Lucy. "I always hope they'll know someone cares about them. It feels good to know that I'm helping all these kids feel loved." The teen and her mom regularly post photos of her creations and other updates to the @LucysLoveBlankets Instagram page along with a Venmo link for donations to help cover the costs of fabric and shipping. "She's got supporters from all over the world," said Blaylock. "There will always be love blankets."
However, for now, Lucy has turned her attention to making face masks for healthcare workers leading the fight against the pandemic. "Because of COVID-19, we decided to put the love blankets aside for a minute and start making masks," the teen explained. Blaylock revealed that it started with a friend contacting them about making masks, after which they looked up how to make them on Pinterest and practiced making a few. There have often been times when the entire family has gotten into the mask making action, each setting up a station to do their designated duties. Blaylock said the experience has been fun and "strengthening" for the family as it brought them together for a cause.
"They've been working really hard. They have to be really safe because of it, so I want to help," Lucy said of her decision to help local healthcare workers. "Knowing that I can do something just makes me feel good. I can’t cure it [the virus] or do anything like that, but I can make masks." Blaylock revealed that her daughter has donated 1,100 masks since March to those asking for a helping hand, including an order for the Ronald McDonald House. "Kindness does matter, it always will. It makes the world a better place when we do kind acts," said Lucy. "It may get hard sometimes, but what we are doing is making a difference."
The teen, who lives in Gallatin, Tennessee, said that the pandemic has made her more aware of the work she's doing. "It just makes you love it more, kind of, knowing that that’s all you have to do right now," she said. "That really makes it better, knowing that (you can help people)." The youngster received a volunteer service award from President Trump earlier this year and is also the proud winner of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. Sharing a piece of advice for kids interested in volunteering, she urged them not to "wait until you have everything figured out" and to "just start and keep going. Serving always matters."