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SF 4th Graders Make Blankets For Homeless

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The 7th annual Project Warm-Up event isn't until Saturday, but the members of the Sioux Falls community have been working hard during the week ahead of the event making blankets for those in need.

“First, I cut the corner, and then I cut some strips so that I can tie it together twice so it makes little ruffles on it," said Iyana Agustus, a 4th-grader at Harvey Dunn Elementary School.

Little hands were hard at work Friday morning in Mrs. Heinert's classroom cutting felt and tying knots for a good cause.

“We're making fleece blankets for homeless kids and homeless children and people who can't have them,” explained Adam Ogden, another 4th-grade student at Harvey Dunn.

Students at Harvey Dunn Elementary are just one of the many groups taking part in Project Warm-Up. Since 2006, volunteers have banded together to make fleece blankets for homeless children. To date, they've made nearly 5,000 blankets.

“We don't have one school in Sioux Falls that is not impacted by homelessness and the neat thing is that they are going to go right back out to those kids," said Tracy Vik, assistant principal of Edison Middle School.

Vik started the project nearly six years ago with her daughter.

“The very first year we made 100 blankets and there were 22 volunteers and it has grown steadily over the years,” said Vik.

Last year the group made 1,385 blankets for children in the Sioux Falls area, and this year the goal is to keep that number rising.

"My goal is always to make as many blankets as there are kids identified as homeless last year, and we identified 1,004 that were homeless,” said Vik.

With so many homeless and needy children who attend Sioux Falls schools, helping hands like those of Mrs. Heinert's 4th-graders go a long way to make someone else's day.

“People just need to be nice to others because if they're not, then it wouldn’t be a good world,” said Ogden.

The actual event will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Edison Middle School. Volunteers are encouraged to donate their time to help create even more blankets. Organizers say anyone who wants to help should just show up.
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