Helaine Lobman comforts those in need
A small object can mean a great deal when someone is suffering. Bob’s Blankie Brigade, an organization run by Helaine Lobman ’80 and her family, has delivered more than 900 caps and 1,000 blankets to cancer patients and domestic-violence victims in the past five years.
“I grew up in a family where people always made things,” Lobman says. “My mom had a soft spot in her heart for kids in the hospital, especially kids with cancer. When my parents retired and moved to Florida, she got her friends to make blankets for the hospitals down there.”
While hands were busy crocheting and knitting, Lobman’s father, Bob, contacted yarn companies seeking donations. After his death in 2007, the donations dwindled because they weren’t tied to a charitable group. Lobman, a full-time contract attorney based in Princeton, N.J., formally established Bob’s Blankie Brigade as a 501(c)(3) organization in 2008.
Through word of mouth, social media, the Web and, perhaps, cosmic forces, Bob’s Blankie Brigade now has volunteers in 16 states producing items. Earlier this year, the organization received the Cherish the Children Award in Mercer County, N.J.
“I don’t know how they find us,” Lobman says. “We’ve done virtually no advertising other than press releases and maintaining the website and Facebook page. Our volunteers are wonderful. Now I need help with the website, and I desperately need help designing a logo with our short name, B3.”
Lobman says that although Bob’s Blankie Brigade has done a great deal for those who are suffering, it does a lot for her, too.
“When I deliver these blankets and caps, I profusely thank the people I give them to, and I’m walking on air after that,” Lobman says. “You have to give back in this life. We’re on this earth such a short time and we have to leave something behind. Part of that has to be good works because nobody is on their death bed thinking, ‘I have to finish that memo.’”