All Maddie Pilgrim wanted to do was help others. She was inspired by her parents, who volunteered a lot and wanted to make a difference. Unfortunately, many organizations in her area didn’t take children volunteers. Maddie’s mom eventually helped her daughter find an animal shelter, where she was able to volunteer. At this time, Maddie was 10 and wondered about the animal’s’ well being while they slept in cages. As a wild action of curiosity, Maddie climbed inside to see the cage from the creature’s perspective. She noticed an obvious detail: most of the cages were cold, hard, and for some of the dogs cramped (due to their size). With information Maddie received from the animal shelter, she wondered what she could do. That’s when she came up with the idea of creating a project herself to help, not only animals, but people as well.
At 14-years-old, Maddie Pelgrim, made a non-profit project called Maddie’s Blankets, which provides warm blankets,to shelter animals and children in foster care and transitional housing situations. She expanded the project to children so children can have something of their own to keep warm. So far, she’s already provided over 8,000 blankets to animals and kids in need in the Virginia area. Maddie says she has “high hopes” for her next steps for the project. She plans to expand Maddie’s Blankets in the east coast states, including: Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. Plus donate another minimum of 10,000 blankets.
“All girls have to do is find something they are passionate about and throw their heart and soul into it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream…and a blanket.”
Through Maddie’s simple, but effective motto, “Make the world a better place, one blanket at a time.”, the organization grew in her community. Through this project, Maddie also created volunteer opportunities to anyone 6-99 years of age. She wanted to teach children about community like her parents did for her. By doing a small, yet kind, service in making fleece blankets, someone will be able to sleep a little better at night.
How does this affect health?
Foster care systems and animals shelters are rough experiences to live in. When someone provides you with something during those tough times, it makes you feel special. Having something to keep you warm is a basic need or necessity for any living thing. When it gets cold it is safer to keep warm, but would be hard if you didn’t have anything to keep you warm. A problem many shelters and housing places have is a lack of supplies to supply the demand. There are just not enough supplies to go around.
Why is this important?
Giving young kids an opportunity to make a difference in their community and be able to immediately see the difference they are making is life changing. Starting this at a young age may continue a cycle of people with a mentality to think of humanity first and be more willing to help others in need.
If you would like to learn more about Maddie’s organization or find out how you can help, click here.