L.I. Honoree’s “We Care Blankets”, Handmade Emblems Of Care, Are Donated To Kids With Cancer.
Long Island, NY - May 3, 2018 - New York State Senator John E. Brooks recognized Massapequa resident Tamara Baker as the New York State Senate District 8 Woman of Distinction 2018 for her work with the We Care Blankets organization, creating and delivering handmade blankets to children with cancer. Tamara was honored at the Women of Distinction ceremony at the capitol in Albany yesterday, May 1st.
Senator Brooks said, “Ms. Baker’s contributions to comfort and care for others is an extraordinary demonstration of human kindness and selflessness. What Tamara has started as a labor of love and compassion she has developed into a movement of people crafting ‘comfort items’ to be given to those that need someone to show they care. Those that receive Ms. Baker’s blankets surely have experienced a tangible sense of comfort from these handmade gifts.”
We Care Blankets, which started with donated space in Merrick from Tamara’s then-employer, is an army of volunteers that delivers to more than 30 hospitals throughout Long Island and NYC Metro areas, as well as other parts of the USA. The group also creates sweaters, booties, hats and blankets for hospital’s neonatal units and financially needy newborns in need of clothing to wear home.
Baker, a grandmother to five, has always looked to help her family and community succeed. While raising her children, she served as Vice President of her local Civic Association and volunteered to teach preschool in the Lindenhurst School District. When her three daughters expressed interest in the Girl Scouts, Tamara became a Girl Scout Leader, serving for 12 years. As her son grew to Scouting age, she became a Boy Scout Leader, while also raising funds for the Troop.
One day, in a doctor’s office, Tamara met and played with children undergoing cancer treatment. Extremely touched by these children and their illness, she looked for a way to help them. From deep inside her, came the idea for blankets, thus beginning We Care Blankets. Starting small, Tamara and several volunteer crafters crocheted and delivered blankets to a local hospital. Word spread and many more crafters volunteered their talents; before long, We Care Blankets was delivering to more than 30 hospitals throughout the Long Island and NYC Metro areas and other parts of the USA.
The Ronald McDonald Houses receive blankets for siblings of young cancer patients from the not-for-profit group Tamara has helmed for 17 years. In the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy and Hurricane Harvey, blankets were also sent to disaster-area shelters.
Currently residing in Massapequa, Tamara’s hope is that cancer will be eradicated in her lifetime and We Care Blankets volunteers will knit and crochet blankets only for healthy newborns departing the hospital. Tamara has distinguished herself among her peers and has truly earned the title - “Woman of Distinction”.