"El Fuego! El Feugo! El Fuego!" Little 8-year-old Miguel screams in delight as he points to the flames on the fleece blanket as it is handed to him. He tucks the blanket under one arm and runs into his cinder block cottage, through the common room decorated with a small Christmas tree and into a bedroom which he shares with three other boys. He proudly spreads his new blanket on his bed, as if to claim it permanently. His bright eyes flash as he sits on his bed and snuggles with his new blanket, giggling.
This year for a service project, the Student Council at R. Roger Rowe school made fleece blankets to donate to the Rancho de los Ninos Orphanage in the Guadalupe Valley in Baja, Mexico. A few of the students brought the blankets down personally to the orphanage over winter break and handed them out to the children.
"We all spent many of our lunch hours cutting and tying the quilts," explains Darby Burnett who is the Philanthropy Representative for the Student Council at R. Roger Rowe. "It was so fun to watch how happy the kids were when they received the blankets and I wish all my friends could see their faces."
Darby had worked at the orphanage with her family the past two years and suggested that the school work on a project for the orphanage. Christine Teofilo, the Student Council faculty representative, helped coordinate the blanket project. "We had such a tremendous turnout for this lunchtime project and the kids had a great time together."
The combined efforts of the students resulted in 27 brightly colored blankets with joyful patterns.
"We learned about another boy's home only 3 miles away and the director told us that they never get anything because they are teenagers," explains Ava Burnett, who also worked on the project. "So we separated 10 blankets for the teenage boys and we invited them to lunch and gave them the blankets and they were so happy, but really shy."
The trip was coordinated through the Corazon de Vida Foundation, which supports 10 orphanages in Baja, Mexico.