PEPPERELL — Kids from the 4H Trail Blazer’s club gave the gift of warmth this holiday season, providing 40 new blankets for the Ronald McDonald House of Boston.
All told, the kids used $1,400 of materials for the project, and they were able to stretch those dollars by assembling the blankets themselves, explained 4H leader Suzanne Ferris.
Specifically, the kids used special “no sew” fleece blanket kits, where the blanket is built by cutting and tying off the fringes. Ferris said they initially tried knitting, but that took too long, so they settled on “no sew” as a timely way to provide blankets that still had that personal touch.
Ferris said the end product was a stash of blankets with sports, animal and baby themes, which came directly from the kids thinking about others.
“I think they really started thinking about what they would want, and then started turning that around into what they’d give to someone else,” she said.
Founded in 1974, the Ronald McDonald House provides free or affordable lodging for families with children in the hospital. It’s also a cause supported by the Cumberland Farms company, which provided an $800 grant for the blanket materials earlier this year, explained Ferris.
That grant was secured in June, and Ferris said the 4H kids raised another $600 worth of donations and materials over the summer for the project.
Once the materials were gathered, the kids met three of four times during fall to assemble the blankets, which took about one or two hours of work apiece. The blankets were delivered last week, she added.
The 4H Pepperell Trail Blazers have roughly 20 kids aged 7 to 17 from Pepperell and the surrounding towns. It’s a life skills/ development group, and Ferris said they do a lot of projects involving horses and helping out in the community.
“We also do a fair amount of community service and this was one of our events from the last year,” she said.
The 4H Trailblazers can be reached via e-mail at info@4HPepperelltrailblazers.org or by calling Ferris at 978-835-0465.