Put This Into Practice: Warm Up

Warm Up

Objective

National Honor Society (NHS) members worked together to make blankets for the Project Linus campaign—an organization that makes blankets by hand for critically ill children—and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Materials

  • Minimum of 3 yards of fleece or 2 premade blanket kits (6 yards total) per participant
  • Scissors
  • A smile and a happy, group-oriented attitude!

Estimated Time Required

At least two meeting periods—one standard meeting for planning and one Saturday session to assemble the blankets, lasting for roughly three hours. It takes about one hour to assemble one blanket.

Procedure

Planning: Our chapter had heard about the need that Project Linus had for blankets about five years ago. We decided the first year that it would be a special project for just NHS officers. The next year, we decided we could provide even more blankets by opening it up to the whole chapter. We made it a mandatory event. To get the word out, we posted on the school activities page. We also used Remind.com for all communications, since technology is such an integral part of our students’ lives these days. We decided to spend the majority of a Saturday morning in the school cafeteria assembling the blankets. Members and other students alike were invited to participate. We also shared a how-to video so students could quickly grasp how to accomplish the task (www.nancysnotions.com/category/video+demos/quick+fleece+blankets.do).

Execution: NHS chapter members and other students came to school on that predetermined Saturday to make blankets. We spread out across the cafeteria in groups. Some kids made new friends and others worked together. It was a great experience. Each student had their own fleece or blanket kit. They all worked independently, but also came together as a huge group. Many students walked around looking at all the different fleece patterns, prints, etc. We had everything from pastels to school colors (orange and yellow) to baseball and basketball prints to the movies Frozen and Cars, and of course the ever-popular Mickey Mouse! Once we had bagged them all, I contacted my friend at Project Linus and she came and picked them up. We were able to make a grand total of 372 blankets! The Project Linus representative later sent me an email and said she was able to utilize our blankets in four different Arizona shelters in Tempe, Phoenix, and Mesa. We were so honored that our efforts had reached outside our city!

Reflection

The students LOVED participating in the blanket drive. The only real downside or negative feedback we heard is that some students, due to the cost of purchasing the items, were not able to participate. I purchased additional materials, and we had several of our officers and their families volunteer to donate additional materials to help others. I think one of the biggest lessons the officers learned from this is that not all members are as affluent as others. It was eye-opening for them to see the differences in just our own school. We are located in a very affluent area, and we don’t often see the difference in the demographics of our school. I think this was a huge experience for our officers.


Jayelee Dorris is a co-sponsor of NHS at Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe, AZ. 


To learn more about Project Linus, visit www.projectlinus.org.