Local store holds blanket drive for Evelyn’s House
Store donates cozy, soft blankets for BJC hospice house patients
“Vera Bradley wants to do good in the community and the way we honor that is through our annual blanket donation drive, which happens around the holidays. The blanket donation drive happens at each of our stores nationwide, however, each individual store chooses an organization to donate blankets to,” says Darrah Connors, general manager at the Vera Bradley store in Chesterfield, “and it was a perfect choice for our store to donate to Evelyn’s House.”
Evelyn’s House, the 18,000-square-foot ranch-style hospice house, located in Creve Coeur next to Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, offers warm, comfortable surroundings where hospice patients receive specialized care that involves family members and caregivers.
Connors’ brother-in-law was a patient at Evelyn’s House in 2021 and she remembers her sister telling her about a nice blanket he received to comfort him during his stay — and that it was such a lovely gesture for each patient to receive a blanket.
“Every patient receives a nice, warm blanket to make it feel more like home during their stay here,” says Jennifer Dykeman, BJC Hospice art therapist and bereavement specialist, “and we encourage family members to take this special memento home with them.”
The donation drive lasted four days during December, and customers at the Vera Bradley store were given the opportunity to purchase a blanket to donate. In return, they received a discount on their purchase.
“Our staff at Vera Bradley talked about Evelyn’s House and all the wonderful things they do for hospice patients and shared brochures with our customers,” says Connors. “In those four days, 34 blankets were purchased from customers to donate to Evelyn’s House. My sister was very appreciative of this donation to help give back to Evelyn’s House, who was amazing with her husband while he was there.”
“It was so wonderful what the community did for us,” says Dykeman, “and we are grateful for their generosity. We want Evelyn’s House to be a welcoming home for all who stay here, and these blankets add a special touch for our patients.”