Blanketing the Bluffs
By CYNTHIA LAMBESIS
The annual ‘kindness’ project for one of Hillsboro High School’s advisories was going to be a little different this year, with the goal of bringing a lot of comfort to those in distress. That’s because the students in guidance counselor Kelly Sullivan’s advisory will be collecting blankets for the Hillsboro Volunteer Fire Department in a
program titled “Blanketing the Bluffs.”
The idea came from one of Sullivan’s students, Reese Hammer. In his first year on Hillsboro’s Volunteer Fire Department, Hammer noticed that on calls assisting more than one or two people during a fire, crash or other emergency, there could be a shortage of the blankets used to comfort victims. The idea lead to a discussion with classmates and Blanketing the Bluffs was formed.
Every freshman to senior student in Hillsboro High School is in an advisory and meets for one class each week. All advisories participate in a ‘kindness project’ each year. “Each advisory is trying to make a positive impact on the community in some shape or form,” Hammer explained.
When Hammer suggested collecting blankets with the nine other students in his advisory class they unanimously approved. He then talked to the Fire Department’s Lieutenant Jacob Olson who also thought it was a great idea. Once back to school, Hammer and his classmates began to organize. They decided on “Blanketing the Bluffs” as the name of the donation drive, hosting it during the month of March. Promoting the program by placing posters throughout the community, they also asked businesses to be collection sites. Boxes for blanket collection are located at the Hillsboro Community Center, and several local businesses throughout the community.
Anyone who would like to donate a blanket is welcome to drop them off in one of the boxes. “New or lightly-used blankets are appreciated, or blankets that are in good shape,” Hammer said. So far, one of the corners in the room where Sullivan’s advisory is held is filled with blankets. The students hope to at least double what they now have collected by the end of the donation drive. They will be assisted by another Hillsboro class, which will be donating the proceeds of their own annual
‘blanket’ project. The sixth grade class has been weaving and donating blankets to a charitable cause each year.
They have decided to donate this year’s woven blankets to “Blanketing the Bluffs”.
Hammer and his classmates are optimistic about the final results of “Blanketing the Bluffs” and have plans for extra blankets should they receive an abundance.
“If our Fire Department is overwhelmed with too many blankets, we’ll possibly donate the extra to other Fire Departments in the area,” Hammer said.