Story by: Michael Dawes, director of PR, Rosewood Services
Rosewood Miracle Workers AKTION Club completed its annual community blanket drive this spring by donating to three organizations, which are headquartered in Great Bend. Club representatives donated more than 180 blankets to Central Kansas Dream Center, Barton County Health Department, and Family Crisis Center. The blanket drive was conducted from January through March this year.
“Annually, our Rosewood AKTION Club members conduct this drive, and it amazes me the amount of community folks who step up to support our cause,” explained Rosewood AKTION Club sponsor Frankie Pelster. “I think they’ve come to know how important this drive has become to the organizations we provide this service for, so they are eager to get behind our effort. It means a lot to our club members, too, being part of such an important community drive each year. Thank you to everyone who donated.”
Central Kansas Dream Center quickly put the blankets to use, handing the blankets out at the Dream Center Kitchen and providing blankets to those seeking services with its organization, which is located at 2100 Broadway. The Dream Center serves more than 400 people a week through its faith-based ministries, including providing a women and children’s shelter, a program to help trafficked victims, and a program to aid teens exiting out of foster care.
“This donation is huge because we believe in partnerships,” said Kim Becker, chief executive officer of Central Kansas Dream Center. “The things that we don’t do, we rely on community support from organizations like yours to be the gap filler, so we greatly appreciate this donation from you and the community.”
The blankets were a welcomed donation to Family Crisis Center, 1924 Broadway Ave., as blankets are given to every child within the organization that serves a 10-county area. The blankets are divided between the Domestic and Sexual Violence Program, and the Child Advocacy Program.
“This donation is awesome,” said Kylee Graves, executive director of Family Crisis Center. “I think we have an incredibly supportive community and I’m so thankful that you guys have organized this on our behalf. We are so low on blankets now, so this will be helpful in the coming months. Our kids want blankets more for comfort than for warmth, no matter the time of the year they are received.”
The Barton County Health Department, 1300 Kansas Ave. STE B, follows Barton County mothers through their pregnancies and present parents with a blanket for their newborns. Because of their demand for blankets as gifts, they are always in need of more blankets.
“We give lots of education, like for tummy time where we encourage moms to use these blankets, lie on the floor, and just spend time with baby,” explained Barton County Public Health Nurse Debra Higgins. “It’s important for baby’s bone structure and building their neck muscles.”
Added Christy Huslig, a Healthy Heart home visitor for the department, “When we enroll our moms into new programs, we give them enrollment gifts, too. Some moms actually choose these blankets for themselves. We give a lot of blankets throughout the year.”
“We give credit for your organization’s hard work and generosity every time we give them,” said Higgins. “We share with our families that the homemade ones are made with love. We believe that they truly are.”
Rosewood AKTION Club is an affiliate of the national Kiwanis organization that promotes service in action for people with developmental disabilities. The area club allows Rosewood members to be actively involved in the community and to positively impact the lives of others.