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The Buckeye Blanket Bash

The Buckeye Blanket Bash was a new service project, held March 5, 2011, which directly benefited patients at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (The James). This event was created and organized by the students of the Ohio State University College of Medicine, with significant involvement from other Ohio State University professional, graduate, and undergraduate students. It was a chance for participants to make and design fleece blankets and greeting cards, and later have the opportunity to deliver them to patients personally at their bedside. Over the following several weeks, each of the approximately 100 beautiful and unique fleece blankets made on the day of the event were presented to the patients by many of the students who made them. As we had initially hoped when creating this project, Buckeye Blanket Bash was an incredible way for the students of our institution to be able to do something special for patients and interact with them in a meaningful way during a very trying part of their life.

Buckeye Blanket Bash took place on March 5, 2011, at the Recreation and Physical Activity Center. Student volunteers along with staff from the RPAC worked early the morning of BBB to set up and decorate this space. While the main activity of the day was making blankets, BBB was a day filled with guest speakers and great entertainment for all participants. Dr. Michael Caligiuri, CEO and research physician at The James, gave opening remarks, welcoming all in attendance and explaining the importance of support for the well-being of patients at The James. Throughout the day, participants had the chance to hear the stories of three cancer survivors, including one from a recent OSU graduate, and how cancer impacted their lives. As they shared their experiences, they emphasized the power of hope and the power of a kind gesture provided in the form of handmade blankets and cards. It was inspirational and rewarding for all the students and participants to realize what a tremendously positive impact they could have on the lives of these patients when their collective efforts were brought together.

In many ways, Buckeye Blanket Bash exceeded many of our own expectations for what the event would be. Our goal at the inception of Buckeye Blanket Bash was relatively modest- to start an annual project run by students that would allow students the chance to make a tangible difference in the lives of patients at The James. And while it was certainly able to do just that, Buckeye Blanket Bash became something even greater. It showed just how strong the desire of the student body at OSU was to play a more direct role in the positive efforts directed towards The James. It showed students that there was indeed a way for them to make an immediate and concrete impact on cancer patients, in creative and uncommon ways. It showed how powerful the collective will of a group of people working towards one goal can be. From the CEO of The James making time to offer words of encouragement, to students volunteering for countless hours, to RPAC employees staying late to help clean up, every contribution was part of the effort that made BBB so special. It is this spirit engendered by our project that we are most proud of, that makes us think that this was a success, and leads us to believe that there is a long future in store for Buckeye Blanket Bash.

Updated on April 30, 2012.