Measuring tapes, scissors and piles of soft, warm fleece cover the cutting boards in Nicole Douda’s classroom at DHS, where FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) students typically learn skills they’ll use throughout their lives: cooking, sewing, planning and managing nutrition and budgets, running households. Sandwiched in between the busy learning hours, they’ve also found time to partner with Grayson County’s Child and Family Guidance Center to make cozy fleece blankets for the thousands of area children served annually by the busy Center.

Measuring tapes, scissors and piles of soft, warm fleece cover the cutting boards in Nicole Douda’s classroom at DHS, where FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) students typically learn skills they’ll use throughout their lives: cooking, sewing, planning and managing nutrition and budgets, running households. Sandwiched in between the busy learning hours, they’ve also found time to partner with Grayson County’s Child and Family Guidance Center to make cozy fleece blankets for the thousands of area children served annually by the busy Center.


"Operation Warm Fuzzy Blankets (OWF) was launched in 2004 by 16-year old Sarah Fallon, who enlisted teen leaders and volunteers to make soft, fleece blankets as gifts for therapists to give their young clients following their first counseling sessions," said Douda. "My FCCLA students decided they wanted to get involved, and the project has really taken off. We just need more fleece, and we’re hoping citizens and merchants will help meet that need. Our students are ready, willing and eager to do the work."


Thousands of blankets have given comfort and warmth to children over the past decade, with the Child and Family Guidance Center providing "How to Make OWF Blanket Workshops" for up to 20 volunteers at a time. "Once our students learned the technique, they began making them at school and with family members at home," said Douda. "Each blanket requires only 1.5 yards of material. That’s a very small amount of material in light of the comfort it provides for these kids."


Brenda Hayward, Director of the Center, says she’s thankful and proud that DHS students have chosen to help with this project. "This is a labor of love that brings so much comfort and care to our young clients," said Hayward. "The Sherman Service League has very generously donated a lot of fleece to this project, and we’re hoping others will follow. We get a lot of heartfelt notes from our kids about their blankets. One, written by an eight-year-old, simply said, ‘Thank you for my soft blanky…it helps keep my nightmares away.’ That pretty much tells you how important the blankets are in the lives of these children."


Anyone wishing to donate fleece for the project can drop their donation off at Denison High School’s Main Office, located next to Eisenhower Auditorium.