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Students volunteer on weekend to help children in need

Project Linus is an organization whose mission is to “provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need,” according to their website. The Human Development Club at Washington State University Vancouver is involved with the local Project Linus chapter. One aspect of this involvement includes the club’s annual Blanket Party to create blankets for young patients at local hospitals such as Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and the Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel.

Tamicka Fellows, human development major and president of the Human Development Club at WSU Vancouver, has been involved with the club since the Fall of 2012. Fellows said that the Blanket Party on March 28 was the third annual Project Linus event held by the HD Club. Members of the club, as well as family and friends of club members, gathered on a rainy day inside the Dengerink Administration Building, Room 129 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to make no-sew fleece blankets, socialize, enjoy snacks and brainstorm ideas for future club events. During brainstorming the club decided to plan an event to use extra fabric from the blankets and make bandanas, scarves, and hats for cancer patients.

The goal of each Blanket Party is to make at least fifty blankets. The size of each blanket roughly depends on the age of the recipient; one yard of fabric for children, one and a half yards for teenagers and two yards of fabric for adults. For the spring 2014 blanket party, 48 blankets were made. Fellows said the blanket parties are “a lot of fun and I like the cause. It’s a great mission, it’s easy to do, and you can bring kids, which is a great learning experience because it teaches them to give back to others.”

Fellows said that the club obtains the supplies for the blanket parties through a combination of fundraising by the club, donations of material from students, community members and businesses such as Joanne’s Fabrics. This year the club raised a large portion of their funds from the sale of Valentine’s Day cupcakes in February. Currently, the club does not personally deliver the blankets to patients, but Fellows hopes to change this in the future. She, as well as other members of the HD Club, “want to see this event continue and we hope to pass it on to future club members,” Fellows said.

The HD Club is also sponsoring another fundraiser this spring. The Worth Foundation accepts donations of undergarments (underwear, bras and socks) to be given to incarcerated women in need. Underwear can be any size and color as well as in boy brief, low waist, regular cut or any other practical style. Bras are accepted in all sizes, but the current greatest need is for B and C sizes. Socks will be accepted in all sizes, colors and styles. Bins for donations will be located in the Dengerink Administration Building alcove, the Student Services Building, the Library Building and the Firstenburg Student Commons. Donations will be accepted from April 21 – May 2.

As spring semester comes to a close and some HD Club members graduate or move into other club positions, the club wants to announce that the treasurer and secretary positions are open for the 2014 – 2015 academic year. Human development majors are strongly encouraged to consider [1] pursuing these positions. To apply, students can join the HD Club through CougSync and are requested to write a brief paragraph on why they wish to become involved with the club. Once involved, students can then speak to club officers and learn more about the process to become an officer themselves. The next club meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 7 in the Library Building, Room 260, at 11:30 a.m. Fellows said this meeting will be more of an “end of year celebration where we celebrate this year’s accomplishments, introduce new members and plan activities for the next year.”

Any questions regarding club activities, meetings or how to become involved can be answered by faculty advisor Tracy Tachiera at ttachiera@vancouver.wsu.edu or by contacting Human Development Club President Tamicka Fellows at tamicka.fellows@email.wsu.edu.

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