Valley News -

By Halle Kowalewski
Intern 

Binky Patrol pours love into the community

 

Last updated 7/26/2019 at 1:37am



Binky Patrol started with a sick and scared little boy who received a handmade blanket from people in his community. From there, the organization grew into a network of volunteers and friends who made it their mission to help local children by showing them support.

The local chapter of Binky Patrol, a nonprofit organization, provides handmade blankets, or “binkies,” for children in need. Binkies are given to children of all ages who are going through a stressful experience such as a long hospital stay, household upheaval or being adopted into a foster family.

In 2012, nearly 5.9 million children stayed at a hospital for at least one night according to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Though most hospitals make it their mission to make these children as comfortable as possible, the uncertainty of the new environment can be frightening. Even a small gesture such as a gifted blanket can create immeasurable security.

The Temecula chapter of Binky Patrol, which serves much of the Inland Valley, donates blankets to Temecula Valley Hospital, Rancho Springs Medical Center and Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. Each blanket is made especially for the child in need, often catered to their interests and their situation.

Blankets are also given to local foster agencies such as A Coming of Age Foster Care and to children in high-stress environments, such as children who have experienced a divorce or death in the family. Even some adults, members of the California Highway Patrol, those who are going through a trauma intervention program or those deployed on U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton have been given the comforting token of a binkie as a show of care and love.

The binkies can be crocheted, knitted, sewed or knotted by volunteers. Area coordinator Dana Polhill said that all of the binkies are handmade by volunteers.

“The focus is really on pouring love and care onto these kids,” she said.

Each volunteer creates small squares of the blanket which are then sewed together in order to make one complete blanket. As a result, each blanket symbolizes a coming together of a large community, Polhill said; they are a means of rallying around a child and giving them the love and care they deserve. Every time a child holds their binky, they know that they are thought of, she said.

The organization also builds bonds between volunteers. Polhill said that one of her best memories with Binky Patrol is the friendships she has built, particularly at “bink-a-thons,” a day when volunteers get together to create a large number of blankets.

To get involved or to learn more about Binky Patrol, visit http://www.binkypatrol.org or email Dana Polhill at [email protected] Volunteers do not need to know how to sew; they can also tie blankets, make deliveries and recommend children to receive their own blankets.

Halle Kowaleski can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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