Mention “act of kindness” to any of the students in Laura Gosnell’s fifth grade class at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School in Ridgefield, and they will tell you about the recent project they just completed together as a class—a baby blanket drive that resulted in a generous donation to Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital and to “Babies In Need”, an all-volunteer ministry in Southwest Washington that provides families in need with basic essentials for newborns.
After reading a book titled Real Life Superheroes by Alison Hawes, the students learned of the work of Thomas Barnardo (1845-1905) a doctor and social worker for the poor who founded an orphanage and school for homeless children. The true-life story inspired the students to do a class project that would also demonstrate an act of kindness, so the search was on to find out what they could do to help.
Realizing that there was a need for baby blankets in hospitals and for families in need, the students launched a baby blanket drive. With their teacher’s help, the class connected with the two local organizations who would receive the donations.
As word got out and donations started pouring in, the students were amazed at the number of baby blankets they were getting. “The more blankets we collected, the more excited the students became,” said their teacher, Laura Gosnell. The class learned that hospital volunteers offered to knit baby blankets as well, so yarn donations were also collected for the drive.
The blanket drive, a huge success, is now providing warmth and comfort to newborns at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital and “Babies In Need”. “This was such a rewarding experience for my students,” said Gosnell. “This was a true act of kindness, and I am proud of each student for their inspiration.”