Nicollet teen’s project provides blankets to foster children

Published 10:16 am Thursday, December 8, 2016

NICOLLET — A blanket holds special meaning to 16-year-old Hailey Sherwood of Nicollet.

Her foster parents, now her adoptive parents, bought her a Winnie the Pooh blanket when she was first brought to their home at six months old. She’s kept it ever since, holding it dear and sleeping with it every night.

“I use it as a security blanket,” she told the Mankato Free Press . “It’s something that makes me feel safe and comforted.”

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Entering a new foster home can be a scary experience for children. Knowing this, Sherwood came up with a project to help them feel the same comfort she felt growing up.

Coordinating with the local Adoption Support Network, Sherwood and others recently made 41 tie blankets at Hosanna Lutheran Church, with plans to donate them to Nicollet County’s foster programs. Another nine blankets were made in the last week, raising the total to 50. Sherwood and her adoptive mother, April, plan to deliver them to the county this week in hope they can be distributed by Christmas.

The project is part of Sherwood’s schooling at Blue Sky Online Charter School. Class members took part in a WE Day conference — a movement seeking to empower people to pursue world-changing initiatives — this fall, which inspired her and others to come up with a local and global service project.

Sherwood chose a project close to her heart.

“With my experience I thought it would impact those kids greatly, and help them be able to feel safe,” she said.