Rob Smith had a blanket made that truly represents the most important things in his life from service to family,
“The T-shirts used in this blanket are a culmination of 20 years of military service and important parts of my life history. Over the course of a military career, it seems the average Soldier or Sailor gathers enough Shirts to clothe a small country. Typically when you retire you get a shadow box to display your ribbons, patches, a Flag, and various small articles. However, when I came across Project Repat, I realized you had the perfect addition to any shadow box. What you see in my blanket is a varying collection of shirts from the commands I’ve been apart of and different uniform items I’ve been blessed to wear. From the basic Boot camp blue and gold PT Navy shirt, to the new official yellow Navy shirt they are all memories and accomplishments. My “Cracker Jack top” represents 18 years of life as a Junior Sailor; the V-neck and flap are truly what identifies the CrackerJacks. The khaki top represents my advancement to the Senior Enlisted Ranks. The most important shirts are the pink, brown and white shirt, and the solid blue button down shirt. These were the shirts my wife and I wore on our first date. Placed between them are two other very important shirts. One from our first child, “Blazerdog” who we just lost in February, and our second child “Graham” who outgrew that Sailor outfit. I will cherish this blanket to its last thread, hopefully for many years to come”
Monika Butzbach had a t-shirt blanket made for her daughter as a memory book of her childhood and adventures growing up.
“Each t-shirt on the blanket has been worn by my daughter until they were falling apart or too small. She had a designated drawer for them and each time she went to clean out old clothes she couldn’t bring herself to give them away because of the memories associated with them.
The shirt collection goes back to when she was two years old hitting the trails with her mama, until she traveled 5,000 miles away from home. One of my daughters most memorable and life changing experiences was when she went on a mission trip with our church to Japan. Her Nihon Kenshu t-shirt represents the relationships she built with her Japanese host family and the many children that she was able to get to know and teach. She also learned a lot from her students about their culture and got to go to Asakusa and Niko the temples in Japan and experience their culture. It is a trip my daughter will never forget and now she will always have the t-shirt on her blanket from her trip to Japan.
Each shirt is a diverse memory and the blanket threads them together in a story I like to call life. From girl scouts to basketball, all the way to Chicago, all of her best memories are represented with just a few shirts that will help us both to never forget all of the fantastic times that she had growing up”
A blanket is our idea of a more comfortable memory book.
McKenzie Hanson’s Project Repat blanket celebrates her acting career, “My t-shirt blanket brings back my fondest memories from all of the plays I’ve been in. I remember being able to miss school on the performance days, performing in front of my childhood peers, dancing on stage between performances, eating pizza sitting in a circle on the floor as a united cast, and the adrenaline rush of opening night. With every signature of the cast members on the back of these t-shirts, I remember family. Each t-shirt has a story of a great time and friends.
Pecos Bill and Slue-Foot Sue Meet The Dirty Dan Gang was a landmark play for me because it was the first play I got to be a main character in. I have fond memories of this production because of the tight-knit cast. Everyone was family. We shared the innocence of being young and alive on stage. There is a joy in being on stage together; building each other up with the talent we each put forth.
Every time I received a t-shirt from a theater production I counted it as a prize. As I grew older I still loved theater but other interests weighed on me heavier than this old passion. When I moved out, all of my old t-shirts went into storage and when I pulled them out from storage I realized I had collected quite a few prizes. I needed to do something with them and fast. I’ve always loved the idea of putting the t-shirts together into a quilt but I didn’t know where to go. I was overjoyed when I finally found out about Project Repat. These memories will always be a part of me”
Lexie Zelek’s colorful Project Repat blanket of childhood memories. From sports teams to concert tees, it represents, “all the good times”.
Dru OConnel had five t-shirt blankets made to remember his father in-law who passed away this past December,
“I wanted to make sure that we had something to remember him by. His shirts were a part of him and I wanted to give each of his five beloved children a remembrance of their father. He was the rock of our family and is truly missed each and every day. Family was the most important thing to him and these blankets will remind us all every day how important our connection to him was. We all hold memories of each outing, church event, graduation and birthday party dad enjoyed and I used the shirts from them for our blankets. This is a great way to keep him with us”
We are incredibly touched to be entrusted with a family’s memories of a passed loved one.
Jaclyn Thomas and her husband had Project Repat make a t-shirt blanket that represents their lives together. The couple has moved twice, once across country, in their two years of marriage, “Of those two years, we have been separated for 10 months. He is an infantry officer in the Army and we have already been on quite a ride together. Before we had our blanket made, we had a 10 gallon Tupperware container that we lugged from place to place that was filled with t-shirts that meant a lot to both of us.
My husband has another deployment coming up and I wanted those memories preserved in such a way that I can enjoy them while he is gone. Our blanket is made up of memories apart and those that we have shared. There are countless West Point shirts that come from a time when we fostered a relationship over the phone. There are lots of young life t-shirts which represent summers, friends, change, and newness. There are t-shirts from our jobs and favorite teams. This blanket for us is a fusion of who we are as a team - the things that we love, support, work for and believe in. We are so blessed by the memories it represents”
We love that we had the opportunity to create something that means so much to this strong couple.