Reporting Harry Porterfield
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Juanita Kilian spends her spare time creating something warm and fuzzy to comfort sick people.
As CBS 2′S Harry Porterfield reports, she’s someone you should know.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to feel you’ve brought some comfort to people and a little warmth, maybe,” Juanita says.
Juanita has made more than 3,200 blankets that she has donated to Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago. The blankets are for patients and visitors alike, to keep them warm.
Juanita says it all started when her daughter, a nurse at Swedish Covenant, asked her if she could make a “few blankets for some of the patients. Her daughter revised the amount to “about a hundred.”
“Truly, I thought she was nuts, but I said, sure,” Juanita says.
That was the beginning of a passion that finds her turning out 20 to 30 blankets a week as a volunteer. The material she uses is fleece, a synthetic fabric very much like wool.
Most blankets are stitched, some are crocheted.
The hospital is appreciative of Juanita’s efforts.
“When you come to a hospital, it’s often a frightening experience,” hospital spokeswoman Mary Shehan says. “When you walk into one of our rooms that has one of her blankets on the bed, you almost feel like you’re at home. It gives it a whole different feel.”
The warmth of what she does radiates back to her in the form of letters written by people who have found comfort in her blankets.
“I’m thinking maybe they’ll think of me once in a while when they look at that blanket,” Juanita says. “I feel like I’m with a lot of people now.”