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Family and school tradition blankets the community
Family and school tradition blankets the community
Posted on 12/20/2019
Students in front of the commons working on blanketsFamily with blanketsWhat started as a UCS family looking for a way to honor a friend with cancer has grown into service projects that are literally blanketing the community.

Through the efforts of three current and former UCS students in the Sorgi family, Bemis Junior High School and Henry Ford II High School have worked together to make more than 1,300 blankets over six years that have gone to area children with medical issues. 

“We have truly enjoyed working on this activity and have been so impressed by the willingness to help by all that we have approached.,” said Joey Sorgi III, a senior at Henry Ford II High School. "In seeing the excitement generated by these donations, we have been deeply touched."

The project started when the oldest sibling, 2015 graduate Alex Sorgi, worked with her school to collect 250 toys for St. Jude’s and Children’s Hospital. The project was in support of a classmate who had cancer. 

“We realized that the toy drive we had just done was great for little kids but that it didn’t have any impact on older kids like (their friend) Stefan,” Alex said.   “We felt that a homemade fleece blanket would be comforting to anyone going through the struggles of being sick.  Our hope is that the blanket will provide a little sense of comfort and let them know people care and are fighting for them.” 

Once Alex graduated, the next sibling Nikki picked up the torch and began to involve more student groups. 

The blanket making effort now involves the Henry Ford II National Honor Society, Student Council and school store and the Bemis Life Skills students. 

Life Skills 8th graders in Casey Finkbeiner’s classes at Bemis made 80 fleece blankets for the annual project. As each group of students finished tying the knots, they attached Christmas cards they signed for the patients. 

“The classes didn’t let any fleece go to waste; long strips were braided into dog toys for an animal shelter and corner squares were cut and turned into garlands for the classroom,” Finkbeiner said.

Since their inception, the charity drives have supported Kids Kicking Cancer, St. Jude’s and now the Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. The hospital has shared that the blankets “have made a meaningful difference to the very sick children at the hospital,” Alex said. 

Students with blankets they made