The Upper School’s Great Hall was full of fleece and hard work on Wednesday as a group of students, led by Izzy P. ‘23, put together blankets for donating to hospitals and medical facilities this holiday season.
Izzy originally started making blankets in middle school and last school year, wanted to find a way to help hospitals that were becoming overloaded with COVID-19 patients. Izzy and a friend created a drive to encourage people to make fleece-tie blankets to donate to hospital patients. The drive was very successful despite school and blanket-making being remote.
“I knew I had stumbled upon a really remarkable opportunity, and I immediately knew I wanted to continue my efforts on hosting and expanding the drive throughout the rest of my time in high school,” Izzy said.
This school year alone, Izzy has recruited over 20 blanket-makers in the Upper School and is now partnering with multiple different local hospitals.
“Compared to the five participants and the simple curbside drop-off the first time I hosted the drive, we have come a long way,” Izzy said. “This project is a way for students and faculty to become involved with and to give back to the broader Portland community and the healthcare systems that do so much for us, especially in a pandemic. And I think that participation like that, especially around the holidays, is something important for everyone to consider.”
For Izzy and her crew of blanket-makers, being able to have an impact on hospitalized patients and the Portland medical community is a real, tangible result of their hard work.
“So many healthcare workers have thanked me for creating this project, describing how grateful the patients are to receive such gifts and how it eases hospital transitions,” Izzy said. “And the thought of having a real impact on such an incredible profession, a profession I hope to pursue one day, is a remarkable feeling.”
Izzy and her peers believe projects such as these demonstrate not only student initiative but the collective desire of the OES community to do good. They will hold another drive in the spring of 2022.
“I have big goals for the blanket drive and, this year, I am excited to work to expand it to a larger level,” Izzy said. “I am very grateful to all of the OES community for participating and for helping this project get to where it is today!”