PIQUA — The first Awesome Piqua project sponsored by the Awesome Piqua Foundation has come full circle as teacher Becky Pottorf and Piqua City Schools (PCS) students donated approximately 45 fleece blankets to residents at Brookdale of Piqua and Piqua Manor nursing homes over the weekend.
“To finally see the kiddos come here and participate in the final stage of the whole processes, it’s fulfilling to me in a way that I think it’s made difference in talking with them about the meaning of Christmas, what this actually means to the residents here,” Pottorf said. “It’s comforting to have this time of year.”
Pottorf, a fourth grade language arts teacher at Piqua Central Intermediate School, recently received the $1,000 cash grant from the Piqua chapter of the Awesome Foundation to bring about “A Heart Filled Holiday” for extended care residents at two of Piqua’s nursing homes. The project brought together students at Piqua Central Intermediate and Piqua Junior High schools first when they put the blankets together, then again on Saturday when they distributed the blankets at local nursing homes and met the residents there.
“I am so grateful and appreciative of anyone giving us thought,” Brookdale resident Helen Casto said. “It’s wonderful to see the young people come here.”
“How did they know what my favorite drink was?” Brookdale resident Virginia Mott said, receiving a donated blanket that had images of coffee on it. “I think it’s wonderful, and I’ll use it, too.”
The students visited with a handful of residents at Brookdale, leaving other blankets under the Christmas tree in the lobby before going to visit with residents at Piqua Manor. With the students also came their parents and family members, who were proud of the children.
“I think it’s absolutely a great program,” parent Angelica Lehman said. Lehman was with her stepdaughter and PCS student Hayden Ritchie to see the students give the blankets to the nursing home residents. “I was excited. She (Hayden) was excited,” Lehman said.
“I think it’s a great thing to do,” said parent Elizabeth Hall, who was there with her daughter, PCS student Katelyn Hall.
“I think it’s great,” parent Ivey Blanton said. About her daughter, Allyson Smith, Blanton added, “She’s already a loving little girl.”
“I think it’s wonderful,” parent Tiffany Cooper said.
Cooper’s daughter, Kylee Ordorff, came from Piqua Junior High to help the Piqua Central students with the blankets. While the Piqua Central students generally tied the fleece fabrics together to make the blankets, the older students from the junior high school were there to help cut the blankets for the younger students.
“I think it’s very nice to come here and give blankets to older people,” student Gracelyn Veil, 9, said.
With Veil was her grandmother, Crista Hannah.
“I think it’s amazing,” Hannah said. “Brightens their (the residents’) day up. I think it’s neat. It gives them something they wouldn’t have expected.”
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336