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Dollars 4 Change gets crafty for charity

Christopher Braun / Lantern photographer

Members of Dollars 4 Change spent time among friends making blankets hoping to surprise one group that supports Columbus-area residents who are in need.

 

Peter Worley, a second-year in mechanical engineering and co-president of Dollars 4 Change, said they made 30 fleece blankets Saturday, at a cost of about $6 a piece. He said students cut the ends of the fleece to make a fringe, and then tie two pieces together to create small bows on the ends of the blankets.

Worley said Kristen Reymann, a first-year in pre-nursing and Dollars 4 Change member, proposed making blankets to donate to Joint Organizations for Inner-city Needs because she had donated blankets to them in the past.

“If we’re only raising a couple hundred bucks, we want to make sure we’re giving it to an organization who is truly grateful and who needs it,” Worley said. “There are organizations that really do need a couple hundred extra bucks.”

J.O.I.N. does not yet know the students made blankets for them. Dollars 4 Change’s members are hoping to surprise them this week when they go to J.O.I.N.’s East Main Street facility.

According to its website, J.O.I.N. “provides material needs for low-income families in Franklin County and functions under Catholic Charities of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus.”

What some would call their mission statement is a clip from Vatican documents stating that when people are in need, Christians should help and provide charity. Most of the items on their online wish list are children’s items, toiletries and cleaning supplies.

Reymann said her mom got her started making blankets as a child when she was working with a non-profit that helps low-income mothers, and she has been making blankets for J.O.I.N. since.

Reymann said she has always loved blanket making, and wanted to find a way to turn a hobby of hers to help people.

“When (Dollars 4 Change) asked for ideas (for service projects) I just threw it out there,” Raymann said.

Reymann said she was happy with the turnout, which at one point reached about 20 students.

Members of A Kid Again and Art of Living Club, OSU chapters of larger organizations, also came to make blankets so members could bond and work together before collaborating in the spring. Art of Living and Dollars 4 Change are sponsoring a Yoga Rave on April 1 to promote healthy living and be a holistic, drug- and alcohol-free experience, Worley said.

A Kid Again is working with Dollars 4 Change to have a carnival on campus for sibs weekend, which will allow children with cancer, OSU students and those here for sibs weekend to have fun and “be kids again.”

A Kid Again president Muskan Gupta, a second-year in microbiology, said she had attended some Dollars 4 Change meetings before blanket making and is glad A Kid Again could partner with them since they just started the group last spring and have mostly held small fundraisers since.

“We’re kind of new … so we haven’t done anything big yet,” Gupta said. “They approached us, and they were like, ‘We’re planning a fundraiser, would you like to partner, and we donate all the money that we raise to A Kid Again?’ … And then we decided to do a carnival for sibs weekend.”

Worley said Dollars 4 Change received $380 from the university to hold the event, a percentage of which had to be applied to flyers, food and takeaways, such as the blankets themselves. Dollars 4 Change applied to get an extra grant of $380 from undergraduate student government, which they received and could use entirely toward materials. About $60 went toward shears and the rest toward fabric. Without that, he said they probably would have been limited to 10 blankets.

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