KOSCIUSKO — Tippecanoe Valley High School Juniors Kirstyn Yoder and Quintin Allen didn’t just meet the goal for their joint community service project — they crushed it.
The two are members of the Kosciusko Youth Leadership Academy where students are required to create a community service project, alone or in groups. The only specific requirement that must be met is that the students must dedicate a minimum of 10 hours to their chosen project.
At last count, Yoder and Allen have each contributed over 100 hours of dedication to their Wrapped in Warmth Project since starting in August 2018.
According to Yoder, she came up with the idea for Wrapped in Warmth because of her great-grandmother, who is in a nursing home. Yoder said her great-grandmother wants to go home and often complains of being cold.
“This made me think ‘What if I could bring home to her?’” said Yoder. “We used to do crafts together when she was still at her home, which made me think that blankets would make the perfect donation item. I thought that by creating blankets for the local elderly we might be able to combat their homesickness and provide them with a useful personal possession.”
Yoder began the project on her own initially, but shortly after starting, Allen asked to join in. Their original goal was to provide a blanket to every resident of one nursing home in the community,
“We quickly learned that we were going to be able to accomplish more than that,” said Yoder. “We have only conducted two fundraiser events and have received the rest of our funding from donations.”
According to Yoder, she and Allen have saved over double the amount of money they’ve spent.
“This really showed us not only that we paid attention to the sales occurring, but that we truly got lots of high-quality fleece fabric for a really good deal,” Yoder said.
On Dec. 23, 2018, Yoder and Allen donated their first batch of blankets to all residents of Mason Health & Rehabilitation Center, Warsaw, and all assisted living residents of Miller’s Merry Manor, Warsaw, to spread some Christmas cheer. Currently, they are working on a second batch of blankets which they hope to finish and deliver by the end of March to Grace Village and Warsaw Meadows.
“Tentatively, we will have delivered a total of 280 blankets to nursing homes in Warsaw by the end of March,” said Yoder. “It has been a heartwarming experience to bring joy to the elderly who served our community for many years.”