Buddy Blankets and Bears Inc. is the creation of 17-Year-old Blade Osborn. The seed was planted to help others when Blade accompanied his mom Elizabeth to cancer treatments several years ago. While in the waiting room at the treatment center, Blade encountered an elderly gentleman who was a veteran. He noticed that the man did not have a blanket to keep him warm during treatments, so Blade asked the nurse for a blanket for the man and he did this every time he would visit the treatment center. Young Blade made sure the man had a blanket on each of his visits. Blade has always been a military buff and the elderly man would regale Blade with stories of his life and Blade would listen with rapt attention.
During a visit toward the end of his mother’s treatments he looked forward to seeing the old man at the treatment center but he wasn’t there. Someone informed Blade that the man had passed away. The family of the man sent a thank you note to the treatment center staff and thanked the ‘blanket boy’ who kept him company on his visits there. Blade referred to his friend as “Buddy” and that is how the Buddy Blankets got their name. Blade and his mom Elizabeth donated the first Buddy Blanket a week after the man whom Blade referred to as Buddy passed away. That was in 2008.
In 2010 Blade got the idea to donate stuffed bears to children of military parents and kids with terminal illnesses. Anyone who requests a blanket and/or bear can get one donated.
Buddy Blankets and Bears officially became a non-profit in January of 2017 but they do rely on private donations to help keep the organization going. To date, Buddy Blankets and Bears have given away 362 bears and blankets. “A little compassion can make such a difference, even if it’s for a day. I truly believe extending a hand of friendship to someone you don’t even know is the start of what our society needs” said Blade Osborn.
Blade and his mom currently visit the Albany Medical Center Oncology unit about four times a year to drop off blankets for the staff to give to patients as needed. Most recently, someone from England found out about Buddy Blankets and Bears through the miracle of the internet (Facebook) and made a financial donation in honor of their father who recently passed away. Buddy Blankets and Bears have recently partnered with two other non-profits, Operation Adopt a Soldier located in Wilton, and Stars For Our Troops, an organization in East Greenbush. The Osborn’s feel strongly about helping others during their time of crisis. “We are all here for a purpose and once we discover what we can do to make someone else’s challenges easier to deal with, the more beautiful our world will become. It starts within each of our hearts.” Said Blade Osborn.
If you would like to donate to Buddy Bears and Blankets you may write to them at P.O. Box 298, Ballston Spa, New York. 12020 or you can donate via pay pal at www.buddyblanketsandbears.com.