Summit High School student crafts blankets to give to local homeless people
Haley Woodford cuts cotton sheets and felt fabric into large, matching rectangles. She adds hundreds of small strips of fringe on all four sides of the pieces of cloth. Then the 17-year-old marries the two layers by tying the fringe together to create a warm blanket.
Some blankets have simple patterns and basic color schemes, while others are patterned with recognizable characters and bright colors. Each blanket takes about an hour, and she has made 16 since school started.
The Summit High School senior who lives in Georgetown plans to make many more and give them away, along with donated food and clothing she collects over the next few months, to local people who are homeless.
“I know three people off the top of my head that are homeless,” she said. “Most people don’t ever think of the homeless people in Summit County.”
The school district’s last official student population survey recorded that of 3,341 students in the district for the 2014-15 year, 16 are homeless.
One of Woodford’s grandfathers was an alcoholic who bounced in and out of shelters in the Denver area.
“It’s hard to imagine my own grandpa being out on the streets, especially in Colorado where we have such harsh winters,” she said.
Before he died a couple years ago, he stayed with Woodford’s family for a weekend once a month until that took too much of a toll on the family.
Roughly 10 student volunteers joined her after school Tuesday, Nov. 18, to help make the blankets, but Woodford has done almost all the work herself.
She has logged 80 hours on the project so far, which she will present to a panel of judges in April as part of a competition through an organization called Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.
Woodford has plenty of material to make more blankets. She spent $20 on felt, and the rest of the fabric she received from a relative’s laundry business or was donated by a craft store to teacher and project adviser Erica Ewald.
Woodford thought of the project, Ewald said, when she and other students were traveling home from the national FCCLA competition in the spring, which Woodford and her team members qualified for by winning first place with a culinary creation.
This year, her project is unique, as most of the other Summit students participating in the FCCLA’s 36 judged events will be cooking, baking and preparing food.
SEEKING COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Woodford hopes to coordinate with the Breckenridge and Silverthorne recreation centers and local businesses to create drop sites for people to donate food, coats, hats, scarves and other items.
Then sometime in February, she will package the goods and give them out with fresh donated bagels at the Community and Senior Center in the County Commons in Frisco.
The senior will soon graduate and plans to study psychology at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. However, she plans to stay connected to the Summit community, and she hopes to pass her project on to another student next year.
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