Students volunteer to make fleece blankets, Homelessness Awareness Week
When Kalli Clausen was a Leadership Safari staff member, she discovered that Isabella County has one of the highest homelessness and poverty rate at 46.5 percent in Michigan. It was then the Monominee sophomore decided she had to do something to help.
A small solution to a big problem came in the form of fleece blankets. Clausen volunteered in Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center's fleece blanket project event in the University Center on Nov. 14.
The Fleece Blanket Project allowed students to make up to 20 fleece blankets that will be donated to the children in the Foster Care program, attempting to make their transition to different homes easier.
“I volunteered a lot when I was younger since I came from a small town where a lot of people were homeless,” Clausen said. “I knew I needed to be a small part of a big issue.”
The room had 20 fleece blankets laid out, with multiple pairs of scissors to use. Students found the color blankets they wanted to work with and were told to get into groups to work on their projects.
Chicago freshman Jordan Miller said he had a personal connection to the cause.
“Homelessness is a big problem back at home in Chicago. A close friend of mine was on the brink of facing (homelessness),” he said. “(Also) since it’s around Christmas time, this can be like a gift to them.”
After finishing their blankets, while participants agreed it felt rewarding to help others, this was just one step in helping solve the problem.
“I volunteered at Mobile Food Pantry, unaware of how many people in my community were homeless,” Beao freshman Tucker Gross saod. “Helping out in any way makes me feel like I’m doing something about it.”