Keystone program delivers fleece blankets to Emma’s House

MICHELLE MCCONNAHA - Ravalli Republic

The Hamilton Keystone afternoon program recently delivered polar fleece blankets they had made to Emma’s House, the children’s advocacy center in Hamilton.

Keystone Enrichment Program decided to do service projects over the winter including hanging up posters around town, raking leaves, shoveling show and making blankets for kids in need.

Kim Boldt, director said, it was a good way for energetic youth to keep busy during the cold months of deep snow.

“We were kind of stuck indoors and wanted to do projects that would be special for the community,” Bolt said on Thursday. “We looked to see who would be worthy recipients of handcrafted something and we thought of Emma’s House.”

Boldt’s daughter received a blanket from a visit to the hospital when she was little from a different girls' group. Since she still has it, they thought of blankets as a "pay it forward" act of service.

“We know Emma’s House does great work and we wanted to do our part,” Boldt said. “We donated 12 blankets to Emma’s House and gave a couple to other kidos who we knew were not doing too well.”

Over 70 kids are enrolled in the Keystone program (age 6 – 14) and 50 of them attend on an average day. About half of them selected to be involved with the blanket project. Older kids measured and cut the fabric while younger kids were able to help tie the knots for the two-layered warm and snuggly blankets.

The bright colorful blankets had designs of puzzle pieces, dots, elephants, birds, paw prints, dinosaurs and the starry skies, sure to comfort any personality.

Nearly a dozen kids walked through the rain to deliver them last week. They said they didn’t mind the rain because the blankets would help “kids that are having hard times” and “kids that need an extra hug to feel heart-warming.”

Those delivering the blankets said they feel good about their service project to comfort kids and hope to do it every winter.

Val Widmer, executive director of Emma’s House, said kids helping kids is powerful.

“It is an especially great honor to receive blankets that kids have made themselves for other kids that come to Emma’s House,” Widmer said. “We are honored and flattered that the Keystone kids selected Emma’s House and we will put the blankets to great use.”

Lisa DeMoss