Spreading Warmth and Kindness

Good turnout for Annie's Kindness Blankets event

Maureen Stanton
Seniors Amanda Nguyen and Christina Varney put together an Annie's Kindness Blanket during a blanket making event at Abington High School on Jan. 24. Christina Varney and her sisters Angela and Mia, along with their great aunt Barbara Buckley, started the Kindness Campaign after the girls' mother Annie Varney, who suffered from severe depression, took her life in 2015.
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It is really good for not only helping other people, but for also helping me to cope.”

— Christina Varney

Through the efforts of senior Christina “Chrissy” Varney, Annie’s Kindness Blankets carries on the love of her late mother Annie Varney. Chrissy, along with her sisters Angela, a 2017 AHS graduate, and Mia, age 9, as well as her great aunt Barbara Buckley, turn fleece into blankets and give them to people who need some love. Their goal is to spread kindness and also to bring light to the situation of depression and suicide. 

Chrissy says that she and her sisters chose blankets for their cause because they used to make them with their mother. She also says that she still finds herself “making blankets all of the time regardless of when the next event is,” even bragging that she “could do it with my eyes closed.”  She added that she “couldn’t have imagined going in any other direction than blankets” when thinking of a way to carry on her mother’s kindness. She said, “It is really good for not only helping other people, but for also helping me to cope.”

Her mother Annie suffered from depression and took her own life on March 30, 2015 at the age of 36. Shortly after her death, the kindness campaign of making blankets for people in need sparked. Since the start of their movement in 2015, Chrissy said “we’ve made over 4,000 blankets.” The blankets are sent throughout the United States and to places as far away as Australia.  The funds for the blankets were raised through a Go Fund Me page and other donations. The Varneys take the donations to buy fleece and other materials. They then send a blanket to whoever messages them by mail or in person for free.

WCVB Channel 5 Boston

Last week the National Honor Society (NHS) at Abington High organized an Annie’s Kindness Blanket event where anyone who wanted to come and make blankets could. Many people came, and together the community made 68 Kindness Blankets which will be distributed locally and around the world. 

NHS member Emma Coe, who like Chrissy is a member of the Class of 2019, said she “wanted to do a blanket event because losing Annie was something that was close to home” and affected a big portion of Abington. Coe added that the event “was a great way to bring our community together and pay kindness forward.” 

For more information on Annie’s Kindness Blankets, visit their Facebook.

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