Busy DDHS junior shares gifts of gifts of warmth
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A sample of the blankets Jennifer Hoyord makes for Twin Oaks Homeless Shelter in Darien. A high school junior, Hoyord tries to match her blankets with what children at the shelter want. Photo submitted.
DELAVAN -- Jennifer Hoyord is more conscientious than most typical teenagers, and no better example of that is devoting her time and energy to a cause that helps others, especially those in need.
The junior at Delavan-Darien High School took that all-important step this past summer, and the 16-year-old calls her campaign Comfort for Kidz.
(Read all of this week's stories from Walworth County Sunday HERE. )
Hoyord is using her creativity and sewing talents to make tie blankets and baby blankets for residents at Twin Oaks Shelter for the Homeless, which is located in Darien Township at the Rock-Walworth county line.
“I was looking for a charity and wanted to start doing some kind of volunteer work around the community,” Hoyord said. “The homeless shelter was brought up, and so I tried to think of something I could do to help them, and the idea of the blankets came up. One of the girls on my (DDHS) tennis team had been a resident at the shelter. And to know about all of those kids, it was like, ‘Wow, what an eye opener.’”
Hoyord’s mother, Pam, got her involved in a sewing class in eighth grade, and those developing skills fit perfectly with her blossoming idea.
“I have made a couple of pillows, and I’ve tinkered with a pair of pajamas, but I’m not very good at that yet,” Hoyord said. “But my mom is the one who taught me and got me into the sewing class, and she helped me do the ties for the blankets.”
The colorful fleece blankets are 6-foot squares with the tie ribbons around the edges. The baby blankets are a bit smaller and made with different fabric, and they don’t include the ties to avoid any safety issues.
“My first delivery was six tie blankets, and with the second batch I’ll have some baby blankets,” Hoyord said. “I probably can get two done each week, and I’d like to get more ready before Christmas.”
That’s quite an accomplishment considering homework and other extracurricular activities, including dance classes and playing tennis for the Comets.
However, her biggest concern is whether she receives enough monetary donations to buy the supplies.