Senior Service Day - 2014
The South Campus Ambassadors Interact Club of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA, completed a service project on June 4, 2014 benefiting sick and traumatized children served by Project Linus. This project was made possible through a generous financial grant provided by Rotary eClub One.
The South Campus Ambassadors is a school-based Rotary Interact Club based at White Bear Lake Area High School - South Campus in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. The club engages in many local, states, national and international projects benefiting communities and people around the world. Rotary eClub One member, Janet Newberg is the Rotarian advisor for Ambassadors. White Bear Lake Area High School teacher Jaclyn Whitcomb-Bremer serves as the faculty advisor.
During the 2013-2014 school year, the Ambassadors’ primary international service project was raising money for “H20 for Life”, to support the construction of water wells in Kenya. Ambassadors also engaged in many local hands-on service projects during the school year, including packaging and delivering meals to the poor on Thanksgiving, volunteering at elementary school carnivals, and even jumping into the frigid waters of White Bear Lake in January to raise money for Special Olympics!
Towards the end of the school year, the Ambassadors identified a potential local service project that would benefit children in hospitals and homeless shelters. This project involved making blankets and donating them to Project Linus, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. Project Linus’ mission is to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and Afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers”.
Two years ago, the graduating senior class at White Bear Lake Area High School decided to devote their very first day following the completion of all classes and final exams to a series of service projects benefiting the community, as a way of paying back the community for its support throughout their 13 years of school. To this end, the high school created “Senior Service Day”, and scheduled it for the first day of summer vacation. Ambassadors the best time to engage its members and other students at White Bear Lake Area High School in the creation of these blankets was on June 4, 2014 — Senior Service Day.
The second annual Senior Service Day was scheduled for June 4, 2014. The senior class began to plan a number of different service projects for that day, including visits to the elderly at a local nursing home, and planting trees and other landscaping work. The Ambassadors went to work planning what came to be known as the “blanket project” — an effort to create children’s blankets to donate to children served by Project Linus.
The Ambassadors needed a source of funds to purchase the raw materials to make these blankets, as all of the Ambassadors’ 2013-2014 fundraising efforts had been devoted to raising money for “Water for Life”. Rotarian Advisor Janet Newberg learned of the availability of grant funds through Rotary eClubOne, and applied for a grant to support this project. Many thanks to eClubOne for coming through with a $500 grant! The Ambassadors purchased all of the fleece fabric, scissors and other materials needed to create these blankets using these grant funds.
On the D-day, approximately 200 almost-graduated seniors gathered under blue skies at the White Bear Lake Area High School football stadium and track to begin their service projects. After introductory remarks, teams of seniors set off for their various project assignments. The Ambassadors were assigned to work on the blankets on the football field and quarter mile track. Lucky for us the weather was absolutely beautiful!
Over the next few hours, the Ambassadors created many beautiful tied fleece blankets in an assortment of kid-friendly patterns and colors. After their work, the Ambassadors and other senior volunteers were treated to a picnic lunch of grilled burgers, chips and beverages. Although students grilled the food, the White Bear Lake Lions Club provided the meat, buns and chips at no charge.
Ambassadors Co-President Amy Danielson and several of her senior helpers delivered all of the completed blankets to a local collection site for Project Linus. Project Linus will in turn deliver them to hospitals, homeless shelters, and other locations where our community’s little ones need some extra warmth and security.