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Student Nurses “Spread the Warmth” By Making Fleece Blankets for Families in the Community

Posted Jan. 20, 2014
enter photo description
Pictured are fleece blankets made for
families in the community by members of
the National Student Nurses’ Association
at the Kent State University Regional
Academic Center in Twinsburg.

Members of the National Student Nurses’ Association at the Kent State University Regional Academic Center in Twinsburg put smiles on the faces of families at Pinewood Gardens in Twinsburg as part of the association’s “Spread the Warmth” campaign. The nursing students organized a “Make a Blanket Day” to make fleece blankets for families in need. Kent State faculty, staff, students and community members donated fleece materials, new and gently-used hats, scarves and gloves. The association also raised funds for the campaign during a prior T-shirt sale.

Students were grouped in twos and threes and engaged in happy conversation while cutting material and tying blankets together. The activity helped to ease the stress of balancing school, work and home responsibilities for the mostly nontraditional students.   

“It was impossible to not feel a little lighter after seeing students take time out of their day to sit down and cut and tie blankets for families they would never know,” says Anne Dalby, academic advisor at Kent State’s Regional Academic Center in Twinsburg.

More than 40 blankets and 18 Kent State scarves were made that day, and 58 pairs of gloves, 36 hats and 26 scarves were collected.

Constance Longmire, Ph.D., special assistant and community involvement coordinator at the Regional Academic Center, coordinated a delivery day with the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA).  Officers from the student nurses association, including Jon Neimetz, Angie Cannatti and Roshawn Bryson, joined Dalby and Longmire to deliver the blankets, hats, scarves and gloves to residents of Pinewood Gardens in Twinsburg. Families were lined up outside the door of the Pinewood Gardens recreation center waiting in the cold for the doors to open.  They were fed a nourishing meal provided by the AMHA. Kent State students and staff mingled with the families and helped them choose the items they needed. Kids asked for blankets for their baby brother and for a hat for their little cousin. One little girl took off her tattered and torn hat and put on a new donated hat.   

“I witnessed smiles, laughter, joy and full hearts because of the blankets, hats, scarves and gloves giveaway at AMHA Pinewood Gardens in Twinsburg. It was priceless,” Longmire says.

Longmire has been coordinating a partnership between Kent State and AMHA to present educational programming directly to its residents for the last three years with a focus on completing high school and obtaining a college degree. Douglas Farmer, a representative from AMHA, says his residents benefit from the partnership with Kent State. This was the first year they were offered blankets, hats and gloves.

“Since the ‘Spread the Warmth’ event, I have seen kids wearing the scarves, hats and gloves that the Kent State Regional Academic Center at Twinsburg provided for them. The program was absolutely wonderful! ” Farmer says.

More than 50 families benefited that day. Kent State students saw firsthand how to make a difference in someone else’s life, and the families of Pinewood Gardens felt the connection to someone who cares.

For more information about Kent State’s Regional Academic Center in Twinsburg, visit www.geauga.kent.edu/twinsburgcenter.