Joann Fabrics Employees Donate 174 Blankets for Students in Ohio County Schools
Ohio County Schools is feeling the warmth this holiday season, and the emotion will be going home with some students in the form of handcrafted blankets.
Employees at Joann Fabrics in St. Clairsville on Monday donated 174 blankets to Ohio County Schools. Later this week, they will be distributed to students at Wheeling Park High School, Warwood School, and Madison, Bethlehem and West Liberty elementary schools
Angie Riffle, owner of the St. Clairsville Joann Fabrics, said this is the 10th year she and her employees opted not to give each other presents, but instead purchased fleece and invested time in crafting blankets for school students who need them.
In past years, the blankets have been donated to schools in Ohio. This is the first year they were donated to schools in West Virginia, Riffle said.
The store put out the word on social media that it would be working on the blankets Sunday afternoon. As many as 50 volunteers showed up to make the blankets, and the 174 blankets were accomplished in fewer than eight hours, according to Riffle.
Some of the crafters were accomplished at sewing, while others had never before attempted such a project, she said.
The employees purchase the materials themselves, and Lafferty Moose Lodge 1463 also had a bake sale to raise money for the blankets.
“It’s grown tremendously,” Riffle said. “People already are asking about next year.”
Ohio County Schools officials receiving the donated blankets couldn’t help put marvel over the craftsmanship and the wide variety of colors and patterns on the blankets. Among the favorites was a red, white and blue quilt with baseballs on it. Blankets also came in different sizes.
The blankets were to be sorted Monday by size and age appeal, and delivered to the schools later this week.
The staff at each of the schools already have programs in place to assist students, and are aware of which would be in most need of a blanket, said Meredith Dailer, WPHS associate principal.