Nice article from the Business Journal/Northwest Herald about Blanket Statements:
Going through a divorce was not easy for Leslie Armstrong McLeod.
But one thing that made the difficult experience a little easier was having a nice, warm blanket nearby, she said.
The Fox Lake entrepreneur recently undertook her first business venture as a way to provide comfort to women staying in shelters or coping with divorce.
McLeod began Blanket Statements in November. Her business is based on the concept that for every blanket a customer purchases, another blanket is donated to a local woman’s shelter.
Additionally, each donated blanket comes with a motivational or comforting quotation or message, McLeod said.
It’s the type of donation that McLeod knows first-hand can be appreciated by recipients.
“I just thought there has got to be other people that feel like this and just need some encouragement or words of wisdom,” she said. “In that time of need when you’re escaping out of a situation, to have something like that to hold on to is important. It was important to me.”
Blanket Statements offers customers a variety of blankets to purchase including fleeces, afghans and quilts. McLeod stressed that people can know that the blanket they donate is identical to the one they purchased for themselves.
“We’re not donating cheaper blankets,” she said.
McLeod is currently working with A Safe Place Lake County Crisis Center and Turning Point in McHenry County. She said she did a Web search for shelters one night and found the sites, and Joe Kvidera at Turning Point was the first to respond to her donation request.
Last Friday, she made her first delivery of blankets to Turning Point.
“It was really great meeting Joe last week, and visiting the shelter was a humbling experience,” McLeod said. “Joe was very warm and welcoming and thankful to receive the goodies. I told him I would see him again soon with more blankets.
“I am hoping as the business takes off to add even more shelters to our list.”
After buying a blanket, customers can select a message from a list of quotations, or they can write their own note that will accompany the donated blanket.
For those who don’t have a need for a new blanket, there also is an option to donate two blankets instead of one, she said.
“It’s something to hold on to. It’s something to wrap around yourself,” McLeod said of the blankets. “It’s a sign of love … at a time when you need that the most.”
To learn more, visit www.blanketstatements.org.