Fremont Elementary students make blankets for homeless people
In a service project that coincides with winter's pending arrival, second-graders at Fremont Elementary School on Friday made fleece blankets for homeless people in Lake County.
The 45 blankets will be donated to PADS Lake County, the nonprofit group that operates nightly emergency shelters here.
About 200 students in nine classes at the Mundelein-area school put together the blankets, using fleece purchased at a Vernon Hills craft store and cut by parent volunteers.
In one classroom, students joyously tied the ends of the blankets together as Christmas songs played. They had hot chocolate to drink, too.
Teacher Rachel Glogovsky organized the project. She called the kids' enthusiasm heartwarming.
"They just realize that other people in our community and around us need help, and that there's something a second-grader can actually do to help," Glogovsky said.
The kids raised money to pay for the fleece by doing chores at home. Each class had a $60 goal.
"We had a jar, and they had to come in and tell us how they earned the money," Glogovsky said. "Some of them cleaned toilets. They set the table, put dishes away (and) made their beds."
Some children, such as 7-year-old Charles Konczal, dug into their own wallets or banks, too.
"It feels really good because we're helping poor (people)," Charles said. "I think it was a really nice idea."
When all the money was collected, the students had raised more than $900 -- way more than the cost of the material. So teachers used the cash to buy paper towels, toilet paper and other supplies PADS can use at its facilities.
The blankets and supplies will be delivered to PADS on Monday.
PADS Executive Director Joel Williams called the students "an inspiration."
"I know that the people we serve at PADS will be grateful not only for the warmth the blanket will provide, but the thought and kindness that went into making it," Williams said.
Additional service projects that aim to aid other community groups will be held later in the school year, Fremont officials said.