Inside the Triangle Nonprofit Covered In Love
Group brings comfort to families experiencing miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss
Covered in Love co-founders Lisa Kane (left) and Bonnie Braswell (right) are surrounded by blankets that will be sent to moms who have experienced a loss.
Photo courtesy of Covered in Love
When suffering loss or grief, some choose to seek meaning and bring purpose by helping others facing a similar experience. That’s exactly what Lisa Kane and Bonnie Braswell did in 2012 when they started Covered In Love.
These women were first introduced by a mutual friend in 2011 after experiencing their own losses. Braswell lost her son, Bo, who was stillborn after a full-term pregnancy; and Kane lost her son, Brooklyn, six months into her pregnancy. They each experienced tremendous grief and, consequently, found a shared calling to support and offer hope to other women who had also suffered miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss.
“We wanted to reach and comfort women — tangibly with a blanket and intangibly by gathering women together once a month,” says Kane, who lives in Wake Forest.
Following Kane’s loss, a few women from her moms group gathered together to make a fleece tie blanket, praying while tying the knots and covering her in love. Creating blankets in this way became the primary objective of Covered in Love.
Unlike the box from the hospital, this was something she liked seeing and using in her home. “I could have it out in my house, but it wasn’t a really sad reminder,” she says. “My other two kids could receive warmth and comfort from it.”
Soon after, one of her neighbors experienced a miscarriage. “So I made her a blanket and wrote a similar note,” she says. It was well-received, and Kane realized this blanket made with love and prayer could be something other grieving mothers would appreciate. Friends began to ask her if she could make a blanket for someone they knew who had lost a baby.
Each Covered in Love blanket comes with a pinned note informing the recipient that the blanket has been prayed over. The nonprofit was formed in early 2012, and by November the founders were asked to give a presentation at UNC REX Healthcare as a part of its bereavement program. What was planned for a short presentation with a sample blanket turned into a discussion with the board of directors — and also with participants sharing stories of loss — that lasted over three hours. The sample blanket was given to a mother at the hospital that very night following the delivery of her stillborn baby. Almost seven years later, not a single mom has turned down a Covered in Love blanket.
Many of the women who received a Covered in Love blanket have visited the nonprofit’s website and attended a monthly support group, sharing what the blanket has meant to them and how they were impacted by their loss. The organization has created and gifted thousands of blankets to recipients in almost every state and in five different countries. The nonprofit continues to partner with UNC REX Healthcare, but blankets can also be requested online by the family experiencing loss, or even on behalf of someone else, at coveredinloveministries.com.
“Some months it will be 10 blankets to REX and 50 blankets shipped,” Kane says. “We can only send them out as fast as we can make them.”
The blankets, which are no-sew and easy to make, are created by moms and church groups, high school students (as service projects), alumni organizations, women attending girls night out events, birthday party attendants and even a sorority in Tennessee. Covered in Love hopes to partner with more groups and individuals to increase the number of blankets it provides.
Other hospitals have approached the nonprofit to request a similar program, but so far organizers haven’t had the resources to supply all of the blankets needed. Currently, Covered in Love is in the process of expanding through fundraising, new partnerships and adding more ways to support grieving families. Learn more about how you can get involved at coveredinloveministries.com.
Samantha Gratton is a Raleigh-based freelance writer. She loves hearing and sharing life stories, traveling on a budget, rock climbing with her husband and doting on her little ones.