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Hartnell Pulls Together to Reach Out to Others

November 22nd, 2006

Employees and students from all areas of Hartnell College are getting into the spirit of giving this holiday season.

The Second Annual Holiday Project, Blankets of Love, is an effort that staff, faculty, students, and administrators hope will establish a tradition of working together to reach out and help fill a need in the community.

The immediate goal of Blankets of Love is to collect 100 blankets before mid-December. Fifty of those blankets will be given to teenagers in the Monterey County foster care system who attend a program at Hartnell College called the Independent Living Program. The other 50 blankets are for those teenagers to distribute at Dorothy’s Kitchen.

"That’s what’s really nice about this project," said Margie Wiebusch, program assistant for Hartnell’s Workforce & Community Development Office, and one of the leaders of this holiday project.

"All these kids are in the system, and while they only rarely have the opportunity to receive gifts, they never have the opportunity to share gifts with others," said Wiebusch. "This will be a very different and important experience for them."

Wiebusch is pleased at how much the various groups on campus have embraced the effort so far. Student groups are donating blankets to the effort. A math teacher has invited faculty and staff to her home to make blankets together for the project during the first week of December. And staff members have signed up to do gift-wrapping at the Border’s store in Seaside to raise money to complete the project.

The chair of Hartnell’s Board of Trustees has volunteered his place of business, McShane’s Nursery on highway 68 in South Salinas, as a drop-off point for blankets. Blankets and monetary donations also can be dropped off in the Workforce & Community Development Office, room 104 of the College Center at Hartnell.

The Independent Living Program is a joint effort of the Monterey County Department of Social and Employment Services and Hartnell College. The program-one of several that are jointly offered by Hartnell and Monterey County for children and young adults in the foster care system--provides educational opportunities to prepare youths who are in group or foster home care to successfully transition from dependent living situations into adulthood and life on their own.

For more information or to donate to this project, please call Wiebusch at 755-6923.

Photo notes:

The group will be wrapping presents at Borders on Saturday, November 25, and Wednesday, November 29, from 4 pm to 8 pm and will have blankets available.

The faculty-staff blanket making project is scheduled for Dec. 8th at a faculty member's home. Details can be made available.

A ceremonial gift of blankets to some of the students will be made at a holiday luncheon at Hartnell on December 15 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in Steinbeck Hall.