PA Alpha Beta’s Fleece Blanket Project
In the article “DKG Celebrates First 100 Years in 2029!,” from the Nov/Dec 2021 issue of DKG News, the question “HOW does one celebrate 100 years of creating pathways for women educators?” was asked and answered with “By the HUNDREDS!” The Alpha Beta Chapter of the PA State Organization has responded with its 100th Anniversary Caring Project. An activity, with the goal of completing, doing, donating 100 of something has been selected for each year leading up to 2029.
Kicking off the Anniversary Caring Project is a fleece blanket project that has been ongoing since 2019. During PA State Organization President Barbara Gasperini’s 2017-2019 time in office, her state project was working with the Girl Scouts (and helping them earn the DKG Badge). In an effort to support this state project locally, members of the Alpha Beta Chapter partnered with the Roaring Spring Girl Scout Troop 43009 (whose leader just happens to be a member of the chapter) on a fleece blanket project.
With chapter funds and donations, chapter members purchase fleece blanket kits and prepare the fleece for knotting. The Girl Scouts then knot the blankets. The partnership with the Girl Scouts caught the attention of a local reporter, Colleen Knudsen, who highlighted the work of the chapter and the Girl Scouts in a segment aired on WTAJ TV (a CBS affiliate out of Altoona).
Members of Alpha Beta and the Girl Scouts continue to make a difference “one knot at a time” for those receiving services through five local agencies: Your
Safe Haven, Inc. (an agency that assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault) Bedford County Children and Youth Services (an agency that provides services to protect children and assures their physical and emotional well-being), Rebecca's Personal Care Home (Everett), Arbutus Park Manor (Johnstown), and U.S. Renal Care (Everett).
Since the project’s inception in 2019, 84 blankets have been distributed to these agencies. A project new to the chapter this year, preparing “we care” suitcases filled with personal care and other basic life items will also include a fleece blanket. These suitcases will be placed in each school district and available for families who lose everything in a fire.
During 2022-2023, everyone is working hard to finish 16 more blankets to fulfill the goal of 100 fleece blankets for the Anniversary Caring Project. When 2023-2024 rolls around, the Anniversary Caring Project will focus on collecting at least 100 school supplies to place in backpacks. This will be a joint project with Bedford County Children and Youth Services.