Bink-A-Thon Brings Warmth to Children in Need

In the depths of the forest, the rhythmic click of scissors and sewing needles culminated in the creation of over 90 blankets for children in need. 

This past Saturday, members of the Andover community gathered in the Cochran Sanctuary Log Cabin to create quilts and blankets for Binky Patrol — a non-profit organization that donates blankets to children who are ill, in foster care, or faced with emergencies. The annual Bink-A-Thon event was hosted by Andover’s Community Engagement program as a Non sibi 365 project.

For over eight years, the event has produced hundreds of blankets from the combined efforts of students, faculty, and staff volunteers. Cheryl Douty, Art Store Manager, shared her experience attending as a seamstress. Douty, who has attended the Bink-A-Thon in previous years, highlighted Binky Patrol’s commitment to providing students and faculty with the opportunity to help those in need outside of Andover.

“[The] cabin was a nice place to make blankets. It felt homey. There was a true excitement in the air as we were split into separate groups to do the cutting, tying, and sewing. We had a lofty goal to make 150 blankets. We counted upwards of 92 that were either complete or in the process of being completed. Since we only had three hours with changing shifts, I think we were quite successful. What kept us going was the knowledge these blankets would comfort children caught up in violence,” said Douty.  

Attendee Sydney Jan ’26 described how the event offered her a unique opportunity to work with other communities. She compared the event to her prior experiences helping out kids. 

“I went to this service because I saw it in an email and I was interested because I used to help kids back in Hong Kong and I wanted to do the same thing here but through different means. I feel that blankets are really important for kids to keep them warm, so I wanted to help. Especially for anyone interested in helping kids particularly, this would be the perfect service. If they wanted to do indirect service, and if they weren’t comfortable interacting with kids, this would be the perfect way” wrote Sydney in an email to The Phillipian

Dylan Siegel ’26, another student attendee, appreciated the presence of organized and knowledgeable staff during the event. Siegal also detailed possible ways the Bink-A-Thon could be changed to maximize Andover’s contributions to the non-profit organization. 

“It was just a great environment to be in. I felt like I was with a lot of people when we were having a great impact, and it was overall a fun event to go to. I learned a lot about organization and what [Binky Patrol’s] mission was. I wonder if they could do it a little more often to produce more blankets that way. I also think they could expand to be able to make other items too, so not only blankets but maybe they could work to make other items. That’s just an idea, expanding their repertoire,” said Siegel. 

The success of the Bink-A-Thon heavily depends on Andover community members. Douty emphasized the program’s ability to help provide for children in need, encouraging more students to attend future events.

“Our community already has a deep footing with this charity, which has carried on for several years. I noticed it’s been a struggle getting our community to step up and participate. Otherwise, Binky Patrol is a worthy charity that benefits so many children in [Intensive Care Units], foster care, family disasters, [and] violence… They provide all the materials; all they need from us are our giving hearts and hands to pull it together for them,” said Douty.