ATLANTIC COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) — Kids in the hospital are getting help from one of their own, a girl from Atlantic County. Sara Sapello of Minotola is twelve and a half. When her grandmother taught her to sew, she used that new skill to start a life of giving.

When Sara Sapello and her family come to South Jersey Healthcare Regional Medical Center, they come bearing gifts: handmade blankets, each wrapped in a pretty bag to give to a pediatric patient.

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“I wanted to let kids know that they’re cared for and I like putting a smile on their face,” said Sara.

Sara got the idea after her grandmother taught her to sew.

Some of the blankets she designed herself — like this bright sun on a red background! It’s quite a labor of love.

“If we’re actually designing it by hand or adding the patches or the sun like we did it takes a lot longer,” said Sara.

She calls the project Angel Heartwarmers.

The blankets cheer up kids like Jose Ortiz, 8. Reyna Cuvas, Jose’s mother, told us in Spanish the blanket was lovely.

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“I think it’s a beautiful gesture on her part,” she said.

A hospital vice president is already impressed. Anne McCartney, vice president of patient care services, said, “Having a child volunteer and make something so heartwarming for other children, it just makes it that much better.”

Mom and Dad are proud too. John Sapello, Sara’s father, said, “She’s always been so compassionate and helpful that it really wasn’t surprising. We figured eventually she’d be doing something like this.”

Sara hopes to keep going and keep making new blankets. “It really does make kids happy,” she said, and all for the price of fabric and thread!

If you have fabric you would like to donate for Sara to incorporate in a new blanket, check out her website,

Reported by Dave Huddleston, CBS 3

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