Sheila Ethier, R.N. is the Executive Director and Board Member of Blankets of Love. Sheila founded the program in 1996 for patients with a mental illness at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta.
In 2004 the Blankets of Love Foundation for Mental Health was incorporated and began providing quilts to hospitals across Canada. Since its inception, over 3500 quilts have been donated to patients who are in need of
comfort and hope.
"I created the Blankets of Love project in the summer of 1996. I was a patient on the psychiatric ward at the University of Alberta Hospital several times for the treatment of major depression. I remember how lonely and isolated I had felt from the rest of the world. I was always cold and looking for more blankets.
"One afternoon while at home I came across a quilt my grandmother had made for me when I was a young girl. I looked at the worn, bright yellow and orange patchwork quilt and I remembered the day my grandmother had given it to me. In reliving memories of my grandmother and of the love expressed in making a quilt just for me I immediately felt a peace wash over me. I covered myself with my quilt made of love and let the warmth soothe my cold, achy body.
In those quiet comforting moments I knew 'Blankets of Love' would
help other people. And so the program began."
-- Sheila Ethier