Mega Doctor News –
Edinburg, TX—Sixth grade students from Ruben Hinojosa Elementary School in Mission, TX, loaded their bus with over 70 hand-made fleece blankets. With bags of blankets in hand, the 20 students made their way to pediatric patients at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR).
As a sibling of a former patient, Abbigail Gauna has spent many hours in an inpatient hospital room and realized that they tend to be cold. A member of the 6th grade class at Ruben Hinojosa Elementary School, which had previously submitted hand-made fleece blankets as silent auction items in the school’s carnival, Abbigail realized that there were many patients and their family members who could benefit from having a blanket during their stay at the hospital. With this idea in mind, she communicated her plan to her classmates and teachers at Ruben Hinojosa Elementary. Abby and three other students began leading the “A Touch of Warmth” campaign by working with their teachers to select and purchase the fabric for the blankets, designing the blankets, and recruiting students to help with this massive undertaking.
“For students, it’s easy to be solely focused on their schoolwork and upcoming testing. As a result, we lose focus on what truly matters”, said Lou Ann Sarachene, principal at Ruben Hinojosa Elementary School. She continues, “It’s about learning your purpose in life and giving back to those in need. We strive for a balance between the classroom and helping people in our community. I am really impressed with the kids, that they were able to come up with an idea that would benefit others. No one even asked them to do so. It is all about putting others before yourself and doing what you can to make someone else’s day a little brighter.”
Ruben Hinojosa Elementary School has now visited The Children’s Hospital at Renaissance twice to deliver blankets. After the first batch of 24 blankets were delivered, the students reached out to parents of the sixth grade class to ask them to volunteer their time by making the blankets during the day when the kids were in school. To construct the blankets, the students and volunteers would line up two large complimentary pieces of fleece and cut out a square from each corner. Next they take scissors and begin making cuts a few inches deep along each side of the blanket. When all the slits were made, they take a strip from the top piece of fleece and match it up with a strip from the bottom piece of fleece and tie a double knot. This process is repeated until they have knotted all of the strips around the blanket. After learning how to make the blankets, parents would volunteer for a morning or afternoon shift to take the students’ place while they were learning in the classroom. The combined efforts of parents and students quickly brought these blankets to life, and following many shifts and putting together 80 blankets, the students were ready to deliver the blankets.
Before entering the Children’s Hospital at Renaissance, the 20 students organized their blankets and were assigned to delivery teams. With all pediatric units at capacity, over 50 blankets were distributed to two floors of patients and their family members. Patients were able to pick out their blanket of choice from a range of bright colors and patterns. With more than enough blankets to go around, Ruben Hinojosa Elementary School plans to make another trip back to the Children’s Hospital at Renaissance to spread even more warmth to patients and families alike.