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CCSU Students Give Back With ‘Blanket Central’ Program

Story By Justin Muszynski, Video By Erik Durr

Central Connecticut State University students are giving back putting together 100 blankets that will be donated to the Yale Children’s Hospital.

Amanda Goodwin, president of CCSU’s living quarters, Carroll Hall, came up with the idea and was the principal organizer of the event called “Blanket Central.” The blankets will specifically go to children arriving in the emergency room.

“The hope is that our blankets can be the small gift that will bring a smile to the child’s face during that traumatic experience,” said Goodwin, a senior at CCSU. “I know that what I am doing will make a difference, and I wanted to involve as many CCSU students so they too can feel like they made a difference in the life of a child.”

Goodwin also says she chose the Children’s Hospital because she is a former patient of theirs due to an immune deficiency that she continues to deal with to this day. She worked on putting this occasion together since the summer and obtained some assistance from her friend, Samantha Heins, and Carroll Hall’s Resident Director, Robert Jost.

“I helped her pretty much every step of the way, but most of what you see tonight is her eagerness and determination to make this happen,” said Jost. “I feel this is a very good cause to help sick children when they go to the hospital.”

Goodwin received funding for the program from the Inter Residence Council Budget Committee. IRC President Ian Mangione attended the event last Monday and said he was very pleased with the turnout.

“It’s cool because it’s a program that doesn’t directly benefit our school,” said Mangione. “It’s just a really good community engagement.”

The capital that the IRC provided totaled $1,500, but Goodwin was able to purchase $3,000 worth of fabric by eyeing down a “half-off” sale which made the goal of 100 blankets possible.

Students involved were able to personalize the blankets they made with a card that will be included for the child. Each participant was provided an instruction sheet detailing the process by which the blanket should be made.

“I’ve never made a quilt before, but I figured it was for a good cause so I might as well give it a shot especially since Christmas is coming,” said Faheem Zahid, a junior who lives in Seth North Hall.

Sara Weller, senior resident assistant at F. Don James Hall, says she works as a summer nanny so she feels a special connection with kids, which made this program’s cause all the more worth-while for her.

“I think more campuses should do activities like this more often,” she said.

Heins says the program’s success is a good indication of CCSU students’ willingness to give back to the community.

“A lot of people think so poorly of central students, but this shows that there’s more to us than just partying, said Heins.

Goodwin says she is very happy with the way the event turned out. The blankets will be delivered to the hospital Nov. 16. Despite the fact that she is graduating soon, she would love to see someone keep this program going in the future.

“I’m very happy with the way it turned out,” she said. “Giving back is just something that I’ve been brought up to do, so whenever I can give back I want to.”