HMS club takes on project for senior veterans

Don Ratzlaff / Free Press<p>Surinda Bell (left), Addie Berens and Jax Tracy put the finishing touches on a lap blanket they completed during the Pinterest Club time Friday afternoon. The students made 12 blankets in all. The blankets will be delivered to the veterans personally in the coming weeks, with Pinterest Club members participating.
Don Ratzlaff / Free Press<p>Surinda Bell (left), Addie Berens and Jax Tracy put the finishing touches on a lap blanket they completed during the Pinterest Club time Friday afternoon. The students made 12 blankets in all. The blankets will be delivered to the veterans personally in the coming weeks, with Pinterest Club members participating.

One of the student clubs at Hillsboro Middle School is paying back in a small way the unselfish sacrifice of senior veterans by giving something back to them this holiday season.

The 25 or so students who participate in the Pinterest Club at HMS spent their energy and time Friday afternoon tying 12 lap blankets that will be delivered in a few weeks to local senior veterans.

Pinterest Club is one of several groups that pursue various activities of interest to students from sixth through eighth grade?from hunter safety to archery to rest and relaxation.

The clubs meet every other Friday, as the school calendar allows.

Pinterest Club is named after the social network that allows users to visually share and discover new interests by posting?known as ?pinning??images, videos and projects online.

Led by teachers Steph?anie Sinclair and Darlene Bartel, club members pay a $10 fee per semester that goes toward craft project they want to pursue.

Past projects have included Duct Tape wallets and pencil pouches, woven coasters made with magazine pages, jewelry and paint-stick pallets.

Sinclair said the idea of tying lap blankets for veterans came from her husband, Rober, and Josh Plenert on behalf of the local American Legion Post #366.

Don Ratzlaff / Free Press<p>Mercy Damon helps project partner Collin Brown diagnose and fix a tying problem with their project. In the background is Roger Sinclair. He and fellow Legion member Josh Plenert approached the teachers about doing something different for senior veterans this Christmas.
Don Ratzlaff / Free Press<p>Mercy Damon helps project partner Collin Brown diagnose and fix a tying problem with their project. In the background is Roger Sinclair. He and fellow Legion member Josh Plenert approached the teachers about doing something different for senior veterans this Christmas.

?Josh and Roger always do Christmas gifts for the veterans, but this year they wanted to do something different than fruit blankets,? Sinclair said. ?Roger said, hey, you have a group of kids that can maybe help us out??

Sinclair was the one who suggested tying lap blankets as an alternate project. The blankets are about 4 feet by 5 feet and made from double-sided fleece blankets.

The local Legion funded the fleece and Sinclair and Bartel worked together to complete some of the preparation work ahead of time.

The two teachers purchased the fabric?usually featuring a national or patriotic theme or image on one side and a red-white-and-blue striped material on the backside.

?Our kids were pretty excited when we told them they were going to do something for somebody else instead of ourselves,? Sin?clair said.

?It?s kind of tied to Christ?mas, but we tried to do it around Veterans Day,? she added. ?Later on we?re going to have the kids go with the American Legion guys and deliver the blankets so the veterans can actually see which kids helped make them.?

Don Ratzlaff / Free Press<p>Callie Bernhardt and Hunter Hein (foreground) work on their lap blanket featuring a variety of patriotic themes and messages.
Don Ratzlaff / Free Press<p>Callie Bernhardt and Hunter Hein (foreground) work on their lap blanket featuring a variety of patriotic themes and messages.

The task assigned to the students on Friday was to tie the 1-inch strips of cloth around the edges of the two pieces of fabric.

The students finished their task in time to enjoy a few sweet treats that Roger Sinclair brought to the classroom.

Stephanie Sinclair said veterans can use the lap blankets can be used to keep warm when they?re are out and about during the holidays, or simply to show their American pride.