West students collect blankets for troops

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON—Tanhia Ponce,(left) a 14-year-old 8th grader, Heaven Plante(center)a 11-year-old 6th grader and Aniceia Zoobi(all cq)a 13-year-old 8th grader all from West Middle School sprt blankets at the school.Art to go with Emily’s story.Sent as WEST MS BLANKETS 11-25.

West Middle School students want to collect 300 blankets for soldiers and local families before Dec. 14.

The students are part of the Latino Education Achievement and Graduation program for Hispanic student enrichment. They have collected 45 blankets so far.

A teacher has embroidered most of the blankets with the school’s initials and the year the blankets will be donated. Students will fold the blankets and tie a yellow ribbon around each before a majority of the blankets are shipped to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The rest of the blankets will go to mothers and children staying at Latimer House,  a shelter for domestic-violence victims in Grand Junction.

Connie Jiron is the West Middle School liaison with the Latino Education Achievement and Graduation program. She said the blanket drive coincides with this year’s program theme of having compassion for others.

“We saw a picture of (Peanuts character) Linus with his blanket and said, ‘Why don’t we do blankets?’ ” Jiron said.

She is working with Operation Interdependence to send the blankets overseas to troops.

All West students are being asked to send Christmas cards to troops through Operation Interdependence. Eight-hundred cards have been made available to the school.

Anyone who wants to donate a blanket can get a second blanket free at Walgreens. The club will also take “kindly used” blankets, Jiron said. Donations are taken at the office in West Middle School. Anyone who leaves a name when donating a blanket will receive a thank-you card from LEAG students.

Jiron said she has tried to make it clear to her kids that “it’s not about what you can get, it’s about what you can give” during the holidays. West LEAG President Tanhia Ponce, 14, said she has gotten the message.

“It kind of makes me feel better because I’m doing something for others,” she said.


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