Students participate in Blankets of Hope

SOUTH LANCASTER, Mass. — Each student at South Lancaster Academy lined up one-by-one for a blanket. The entire student body, from pre-k through 12th grade, worked on a project called Blankets of Hope.

“I think being able to do this reminds us we can still do community service even hard times like pandemic and times when we can’t go out anywhere and it inspired us to do more,” Paula Gibbons, a junior at South Lancaster Academy.

The students all wrote notes of encouragement to someone they’ve never met.

The notes were attached to the blankets and then will be given to nearby homeless shelters. Blankets of Hope is a national non-profit started by two brothers from New York City. The goal is to give blankets to those in need. Each one has a personalized, heartfelt note attached. Part of the school project also included a kindness training workshop.

“The students visualized what it’s like to be homeless and to see everyone around you, no matter what they look like, what they might even smell like, and to show that everyone matters,” said Ginnie Hakes, vice-principal at South Lancaster Academy.

The workshop also encouraged the students to put themselves in other people’s shoes and consider their circumstances.

“We were able to think about what it would be like to be in that situation, so we were able to think about what we would want someone to say to us,” Gibbons said.

The students had a goal to raise $1,200 to help cover the cost of the blankets. They raised more than $1,300. They made 240 blankets which the high school students will deliver to three shelters in their neighboring communities.

To learn more about Blankets of Hope: https://www.blanketsofhope.com/