WILMINGTON — While many people think of schools as being closed over the summer, they are never truly “closed.” Even though the students might be scattered, there are staff members who report to work every day.
On Aug. 10, those employees at Ursuline Academy took a break from their normal summer routine to help out a local nonprofit. Approximately 15 staffers made fleece blankets for foster children who benefit from an organization called Fleece for Kids. They spent a few hours on the floor of the atrium at the Student Life Center, scissors in hand, with music playing as they cut and tied pieces of fabric together.
Joanna Arat, the school’s alumnae relations officer, said the school has been working with Fleece for Kids for the past few years and saw that the organization had put out a call for assistance on social media.
“The alumni association has always hosted a blanket-making project,” she said. “When we started doing the Martin Luther King Day of Service, we introduced blanket-making to our students. While we’re a small summer crew, I felt that service shouldn’t stop just because school’s not in session.”
Fleece for Kids, she explained, distributes blankets to every foster child in Delaware so they can leave a home or the foster care system with something to call their own. Many of these children don’t have anything that is truly theirs.
Arat said Fleece for Kids provides the materials, which also includes blocks of wood to measure how much fleece needs to be cut. It’s an activity for anyone.
“If you can cut and you can tie, you can do this job. It’s great for kids,” she said.
Ursuline president Trisha Medeiros was among those participating. She said there are benefits for the staff members as well as the foster children.
“It allows our team to connect and bond and feel really good, and, as Joanna said, we can practice what we preach.”