Communications Studies Club donates blankets to Blank Children’s Hospital

Mackensie Moore

Getting involved in campus organizations is a great way to network and make new friends, but one club is trying to do more.

With the holidays just around the corner, the Communication Studies Club is using the season as a reason to give to those less fortunate.

Members of the club decided that a great way to give back would be to make tie-blankets to donate to Blank Children’s Hospital’s pediatric unit in Des Moines. 

“Kids like things that they can touch — tangible items that they can hold on to,” said Catherine Purcell, senior in communication studies and Spanish.

As philanthropy chairwoman for the club, Purcell was talking with a friend who is a nurse at the hospital when she got the idea to make blankets for the children.

The nurse told Purcell how hard it is for children in the hospital to be away from their homes, toys and sometimes even their families.

“The more homey you can make their time, the better, so I thought it would be an awesome idea to give them that,” Purcell said. “[Tie-blankets are] something they could call theirs while they are in the hospital, so it could feel more like a home for them.”

After discussing it with other Communication Studies Club members, they all decided it was a great idea and turned it into a club event.

“We were talking about the holiday party we were wanting to have,” said McKenzie Hagge, senior in communication studies and Communication Studies Club social chairwoman. “So we were brainstorming and decided to do the blankets for the charity.”

The next step was to find fabric. Hagge searched various fabric stores and decided to purchase the fleece from Hancock Fabrics in West Des Moines because it was on sale.

After getting the fabric, Hagge then took it all to her apartment to stitch the fabrics together, and to cut slits for members to tie together at the meeting.

On Dec. 3, the club held its social where they all sat together constructing the fleece blankets.

“It was nice sitting together and talking about holiday plans while tying the blankets,” Hagge said.

Using a lot of different colors and prints, such as camouflage, butterflies, trucks and princesses, they ended up making seven blankets to donate.

“I plan to take them early in the week of Christmas so the kids can have them for the holidays,” Purcell said. 

Although she is not allowed to give the blankets directly to the children, the pediatric unit does plan to keep the club updated on how much the children enjoy the blankets.

“It’s important during the holidays, and all year long, to remember those who are struggling,” Purcell said. “I truly believe that if you’re blessed in your life, you should give back to those around you.”