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One Good Thing: Making comfort blankets and sending love

A Whitehall woman doing for families of other organ donation families what was done for hers.

WHITEHALL, Mich. — A blanket is among the most comforting things we have in society.  It keeps you warm.  It provides a feeling of safety.  Especially during trauma.  In Whitehall, a woman is making dozens of blankets to both remember a lost loved one and help others that have gone through what her family went through.

Andrea Powers says of her late sister-in-law, "She was very, very selfless. Always gave good to others. She was amazing."

Michelle Hentschel died in an accident 2018, just before her 50th birthday.

Andrea says, "It was a tragedy. But 75 people got a part of her."

According to Andrea, Michelle was an organ donor and donated everything doctors could use.

"Kidney, lungs, cornea. Now there is someone out there with a a heart the size of Texas and is looking through the rose-colored glasses she always looked through."

When Michelle passed, Gift of Life presented her family with a comfort blanket.  

Andrea says, "They wrapped Michelle in it to get her smell then gave it to her husband and her daughters."

Today, Michelle is making her own comfort blankets.

"Afghans and quilts and stuffed toys."

So far, she's made 60, which she turned over to Gift of Life, who in turn donates them to organ donors and recipients. Just like they did for Michelle's family.

"Just seeing how much comfort that brought to them. If I can do that for just one person, I'm doing my job by making 75 blankets."

Seventy-five blankets. One for each person to whom Michelle was able to donate.

As it turns out, April is National Donate Life Month. But, Andrea has taken a break from her blanket making. Instead, she's making masks to help in the COVID 19 fight. But, she will finish. And one day, hopes to meet someone who received one of her sister in law's organs.

If you have a One Good Thing you'd like to submit — someone or something that makes West Michigan a good place to live — email me with your photos and/or video at OneGoodThing@13OnYourSide.com.

And remember the One Good Thing Facebook page where you can see more One Good Things that don't make it to air. 

Yesterday's One Good Thing:

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