NHS donates blankets to children


photo by Ava West

Senior Henry Archavlis helps create blankets for children in the NICU. The National Honor Society met on Feb. 15 to sew blankets, inspired by their sponsor.

With piles of different patterned fabric, stuffing and sewing materials, the National Honor Society got to work. 

On Feb. 15, the club got together to provide for the kids in the Orlando Winnie Palmer Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, putting together blankets, pillows and snoodles, small cuddle toys to keep babies comforted in the hospital. All of the products were handmade by students, adding personalization and love to the gift.

“The purpose of the event was to create little snuggle [products] and we’re going to donate them just for the children in the NICU,” president Chelsea Nguyen said.

The hospital’s main speciality is maternity, but they are home to many infants born with birth defects. Many of the children are very young and are always in need of comfort and entertainment, especially when separated from their parents. The club wanted to provide support, not only to the hospital, but to the babies that need care the most.

“I was a mom in Winnie Palmer’s NICU—my baby was in there for 20 days and I know how valuable the services that we got there were,” club sponsor Megan Thompson said. “It was a project that was really close to my heart in particular, and I floated the idea by our officers and they loved the idea.”

In just three hours, they were able to create over 20 blankets for both children and infants, as well as 10 pillows and 10 snoodles. Members created these snoodles to comfort the babies, as the mothers can snuggle with them at home, bringing their smell and comfort through the toy. The turnout was high with about 40 attendees, each required to make at least one thing, but the leaders believe they made more than 40 items in the end.

“We actually had a lot of supplies left, so we’re planning on hopefully doing another event this semester, and definitely next year,” vice president Emily Bass said.

The club focuses on bringing the members together to do important volunteer work, upholding the group’s pillars of character, service, scholarship and leadership. Recently, Thompson sent letters out to eligible students inviting them to apply, and with applications submitted early this month, a new wave of members will allow the club to partake in such events in the future. Going forward, they hope to donate to the hospital again.

“Our hope is that we’re going to refocus National Honor Society on serving communities that need the most help, including low income families, women and children and the elderly,,” Thompson said. “Rather than just things that are easy to do, [we do] things that actually serve the community and are good.”