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Angel Magnussen and Her Blankets Full of Love & Hugs

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Angel Magnussen with her mother Cheryl

The aptly named Angel Magnussen really is an extraordinary young woman. She was just 5 years old when she realized that she wanted to dedicate her life to help others.

Angel had spent most of those early years in and out of hospital herself. She has Down syndrome and autism and additional health problems meaning she was never far away from the children’s ward.

However, despite all the suffering she had to endure, Angel was often more concerned about the other children around her.

“Help sick kids. Need money,” she told her mother Cheryl Magnussen, during one of her stays in hospital.

Angel was determined to raise money and with the help of friends and family that came to visit her, she accumulated donations to send to Variety, the children’s charity.

Her work to help sick children within her community continued, and by the time she was 16 Angel was named a Scotiabank Game Changer.

The competition was set up to recognize people who make a difference in their communities. Angel went on to become the national winner, earning a $100,000 donation for Variety.

Angel donations

Angel in 2012, receiving the $100,000 check from Scotiabank on the behalf of Variety

Since her charity work began, Angel has managed to raise over $330,000 for the non profit; an incredible achievement.

Ms Magnussen has not stopped there however. Fast forward another 4 years, and Angel, now aged 20 is making blankets for sick children all over the world.

As Angel’s mother Cheryl told ‘The Province’, it all started when she stumbled across a sewing machine in a local hardware store.

The two of them had actually been shopping for a Christmas gift for Angel.

“She hadn’t asked for anything for Christmas that year,” Cheryl said. Angel had made a list but it was full of items that she wanted to donate to sick children.

“We said, ‘What about you?’ She said, ‘I don’t need anything.'”

That all changed after Angel saw the sewing machine. Cheryl explained: “She said, ‘I want a sewing machine. Me make blankets to help sick kids. Wrap them up in warm hugs.’ … So she got a sewing machine for Christmas,”

And so began Angel’s new mission to make homemade blankets and give them to kids in need. She even stitches in little pockets for the children to store their small possessions.

“She started putting love and hugs into each blanket before she would mail it off to people,” her mother said.

Curtis Hargrove (left) sews blankets with Angel Magnussen.

The charity runner Curtis Hargrove sews blankets with Angel Magnussen.

After the company Telus found out about what Angel was doing, they kindly donated funds as part of their ‘Give Where We Live’ campaign. They helped build Angel a special sewing studio for her to carry out her work.

Angel now spends most of her time at the studio, making the Hugginz by Angel blankets.

“She naps twice a day to regain her energy and then gets back in her studio and sews blankets,” her mother said. “She’s made more than 1,000 blankets for kids.”

Angel’s strength and capacity to help others is all the more extraordinary when you consider that she still has various health problems of her own.

As her mother explained: “A lot of her last two years has been spent at hospitals and spent fighting multiple jaw fractures, with her jaw wired shut the majority of the time where she couldn’t eat anything so she was tube fed … but she kept getting out (to the studio), even when she was on daily IV treatments.”

ANGEL-MAGNUSSEN-BLANKET

Angel has been and out of hospital herself during her time making blankets for sick children

The importance of the blankets to those that receive them is not lost on Angel however. Maybe that is why she is able to keep on going in the face of her own hardship.

“She knows that not every child can be saved,” Cheryl said. “Many of the children she’s sewed blankets for have passed away. Families cherish those blankets because a number of them take those blankets and wrap their child up in that blanket as they’re passing away, so that they have that blanket after.”

Angel has received a lot of support, which is helping her meet the demand for her blankets. People donate money through the website and this helps towards paying the mailing costs of sending out the blankets.

“People are constantly mailing her boxes of material, boxes of flannel and cotton,” her mother said. ” They love this mission because it’s pure goodness.”

We couldn’t agree more. To apply for a blanket or to donate to Angel’s cause, you can visit her website at hugginzbyangel.com.

(Sources / Images: Cold Lake Sun, The ProvinceHuffington Post, Variety)

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