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Crafting blankets for children with cancer

Photo by Ashley Beall, staff photographer

On Sunday Nov. 11, the First-Year Seminar “Generosity of the Heart” made blankets for Children’s Cancer Connection.

The class gathered in Levitt Hall and made fleece blankets for children with cancer.

“I think it’s awesome that 19 college students came together on a Sunday to make blankets for children with cancer,” said Pam Pepper, professor and Director of Development Operations and Annual Fund Programs. Pepper teaches the class along with Director of Alumni and Parent Programs Blake Campbell.

The class, which is based on understanding philanthropy and how to implement it into your life, heads up one big project for the semester, and the students get to decide which cause to support. After mulling over several ideas, first-year student Taylor Wiebers came up with the idea to make blankets for children with cancer. Wiebers reached out to the CCC and talked with them about the blanket-making process.

“I suggested this idea because I’ve seen how something as simple as a blanket can make such a positive impact on a child with cancer,” Wiebers said. “I met a little boy named Josh at an elementary school in my town when he was newly diagnosed with leukemia. I would go with him to treatment and it was the first time I had ever seen something like that. When he was at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital he was given a fleece, and it gave him a lot of comfort through the tough treatment.”

The class made a total of 23 fleece blankets, each decorated with different patterns from Disney princesses to Superman. The blankets will be presented to a representative from the CCC, and they will later be given to the children from the organization.

“This was a really rewarding way to spend my Sunday. It is nice to know that you can volunteer and change lives by just taking two hours out of your day to do arts and crafts with friends,” said first-year student Mary Hausler.

The class will present the blankets to Elly Shaw, the volunteer and information manager at the CCC, who will pass out these blankets to each child diagnosed with cancer at a local hospital.

“The work of the FYS class speaks to the purest form of philanthropy – not just doing good for others but doing good for those whom you may never see, meet or be able to admire the impact of your work. Pam (Pepper) and I are extremely proud of these students for this effort and for the many acts of philanthropy that we are certain they will perform for years to come,” said Campbell.


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