Blankets for storm victims being collected in Norwalk

Aaron Krause • Nov 13, 2012 at 5:26 PM

While Mother Nature has blanketed the New York and New Jersey area with rain and snow, an area man is trying to blanket victims of the storms with comfort.

Upper Sandusky resident William Webster and family operate the Shailee Jo Webster fund, in memory of Webster's 3 1/2 month old daughter, who died of a rare chromosome disease in 2009.

Drop off locations for the current fundraiser, a blanket drive, include the Ernsthausen Community Center. There are drop off points in 16 counties. Webster estimated people have donated 100 to 150 blankets.

Proceeds from Shailee Jo Webster benefits have gone to places such as Columbus Children's Hospital and to the children's unit and neonatal intensive care unit of St. Vincent's.

Webster will send donated blankets to a ministry group in the Cincinnati area.

Webster plans to pick up any blankets dropped off at the Ernsthausen Community Center, 100 Republic St., on Nov. 19.

Webster said he learned one of the main things victims of Hurricane Sandy damage need are blankets and sleeping bags.

Webster, who has two daughters and three sons, lost Shailee on July 10, 2009. He said her condition, Cri-du-chat syndrome, occurs in 1 in 50,000 births. His late daughter's form of the condition is even rarer.

Webster said he did not know anything was wrong until Shailee was born with her intestines outside her body. She was born a month early, but that wasn't the cause of her condition, Webster said. He added it was "one of those flukes."

The family held the first benefit while she was still alive, to raise money for a generator in the hopes that she could come home. Although she did a month before the benefit, the family decided to continue raising money in her memory.

For more information about the Shailee Jo Webster fund, visit www.sjwfund.com.

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