SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As temperatures tumble, one cause is working to keep local kids and their families warm.
Project Warm-Up has collected, created, and donated more than 28,000 blankets to children and families in need since 2006.
“Just when a family or a child is in crisis if we can give them a blanket to help them wrap up with a little love and know that people out there care about them I think that can provide them a little bit of comfort, so that’s our goal,” Project Warm-Up Coordinator Tracy Vik said.
Tracy Vik is the coordinator for Project Warm-Up and Principal at Sonia Sotomayor Elementary. The project is based in Sioux Falls, but extends well beyond city limits.
“We have blankets that are ready to go to the Pathway Program over in Mitchell, we recently sent 50 blankets out to Pine Ridge. If people request blankets, we want to get them to them if we have them because we have people all across the surrounding area that are also making blankets and donating them,” Vik said.
“Right now we have 115 blankets so it’s a lofty goal,” Gloria Dei Middle School Youth Coordinator Lakyn Muilenburg said.
Lakyn Muilenburg is the Middle School Youth Coordinator at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. She has hundreds of confirmation students creating blankets on Wednesday.
“Tying a blanket together can make such a huge difference and bring someone comfort and maybe some peace in their situation and know that they are wrapped not only in a physical blanket but also support of the community,” Muilenburg said.
What started as a December-only project has become year-round thanks to the generosity of others, including a recent $5,000 donation from UPS.
“We’re teaching our young kids to be grateful for what we have and we’re also teaching them that they have the power to positively impact the life of another and usually it’s a complete stranger,” Vik said.
Project Warm-Up is hosting a Blanket Party on Saturday at Sonia Sotomayor Elementary in Sioux Falls. You’re invited to drop-off completed blankets or stay and help create blankets from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The finished blankets will be boxed and shipped to local communities and organizations on Monday.