North Hempstead’s Blankets of Love donates to kidney transplant recipient

North Hempstead’s Blankets of Love donates to kidney transplant recipient
North Hempstead's Blankets of Love group with their crocheted blankets that they donated to kidney transplant recipient Jay Chagrin

The Town of North Hempstead’s Project Independence group, known as Blankets of Love, has been hard at work making and donating blankets to those in need.

Most recently, this senior activity club collaborated on a heartwarming project for one of its members.

Jay Chagrin, a member currently recovering from a successful kidney transplant surgery, discovered he was the latest recipient of the group’s renowned kindness.

When fellow members learned that Chagrin had found a donor, they quickly rallied together to knit a blanket and lap blanket of his favorite colors. Each member crocheted a 10-inch by 10-inch square and then lovingly assembled the various pieces together as a group.

“I’ve seen many of the works of art that ‘Blankets of Love’ creates, and it really is the time, effort, and kindness that sets them apart,” said Town Supervisor Jennifer DeSena. “It’s precisely that love of neighbor that makes The Town of North Hempstead a special place to live and the fact this all happened as the town celebrated Donate Life month makes it even more satisfying.”

Chagrin expressed his gratitude for his group’s donation and everyone involved in his kidney transplant.

“I was made aware of Renewal, a not-for-profit based in Brooklyn, just this past summer,” Chagrin said. “They coordinate kidney transplants with donors, recipients, even  the transplant team at the hospital and it was a wonderful experience. Everyone was very kind and caring. And while I haven’t met the donor, I’m very interested in doing so.”

Blankets of Love was formed by Project Independence members as a social group, allowing senior residents to come together and work collaboratively on meaningful and rewarding projects.  The group has donated over 900 blankets, hats, shawls, and scarves to various nonprofits, including Catholic Health Mercy Hospital, the NYU Child Life Program, Long Island Coalition for the Homeless, EAC Meals on Wheels, NUMC Mothering Clinic, and the Gerald Ryan Outreach Center, among many, many others.


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