SLV Health “Blanketed” By Community

A service project idea that began in the minds of two teenagers became a heart-warming reality for the patients of SLV Health, with the assistance of the local community.

In early February 2022, the San Luis Valley Health Foundation was contact by Jennica Hawkins, 14, and Ava Hansen, 14, members of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). They were designing a service project to benefit the patients at San Luis Valley Health, and had chosen to make blankets to be distributed to multiple hospital departments such as the OB, Emergency Department, Laboratory and the new Cancer Center.

Once they cemented their idea and decided to move forward, these two FCCLA leaders reached out to their community for support through flyers, their school newsletter and even social media. The response was overwhelming, with 11 donors suppling them with material and encouragement.

When asked about why they picked this particular project to focus on, Hansen explained that it was a bit of a family affair. For Hansen, her grandmother, Vera Ann Shawcroft, donated fabric to the chapter for the project, while Hawkins stated that her sister had done a similar project in the past, and she was eager to follow in those footsteps.

In addition to donating the blankets, they also donated homemade hats. To keep the community support going, FCCLA will also be donating 15 blankets to Tu Casa to support their ongoing programs.

“Blankets are something that helps calm a stressful situation and warms the soul,” said Kelly Gurule, Foundation Director of SLV Health. When the Foundation received the blankets, Gurule shared how much of an impact they will have on all the departments, and that the blankets could even leave the hospital with children or older patients who do not have one at home.

“That makes me happy,” Hansen said with a smile.