Farmington Hills, MI  (CBS Detroit)  – Fleece & Thank You was inspired by a friend, Sophie, 4 years old and battling neuroblastoma. At a time in her life when she should be playing with dolls and meeting new friends, Sophie was taking trips to the hospital to battle one of the toughest forms of childhood cancer- this meant many rounds of difficult chemotherapy treatments involving multiple overnight stays in the hospital. Sophie had her childhood stolen from her, and Nicholas Kristock saw this disconnection and needed to do something about it, and that is where Fleece & Thank You was born.

“Fleece and Thank You is a 501(C3) non-profit that has a mission to serve every single child facing extended stays in the hospital with comfort and connection,” explains Nicholas Kristock, Founder and Executive Director of Fleece and Thank You. “And the way that we serve those patients is through colorful fleece blankets.”

“Every blanket we deliver has a personal video message attached to it from the person that made it, to the child that receives it. Then that child can actually send a message back to the blanket maker.”

“For us to put that blanket there, that they get to have and keep to take through their treatment journey, it’s extremely important, because for them it’s that piece of armor that they get to wrap around themselves. To feel comforted, to feel protected and feel that piece of hope to help them fight through the treatment they’re going through.”

“For these families and the patient, it’s a day of news that they didn’t want to hear, it’s uncertainty, it’s a diagnosis they didn’t want to hear, it’s a room they don’t want to be in.  And then we enter with this bright, colorful piece of hope. And for them it really is one of the first reasons they’ve had to smile in their day, and it really plants that seed that says ‘maybe this is going to be okay, we can do this, we can get through this.”

“Every year Fleece and Thank You tries to serve 30,000 kids entering extended stays in hospitals in Michigan. We are always in need of people making blankets for kids in the hospital, because that’s a huge amount.”

“This blanket is such an important piece of hope in a child’s journey.  For us, this is a chance to give them that piece of hope and that piece of happiness that might have been taken away through an extended stay in the hospital.”

“It’s a chance for us to give that to the patient, as well as to the family.  Even during this tough time that seems really dark, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.”

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