Warm Up BG to provide blankets

Adam Shapiro and Adam Shapiro

With needles and hooks in hand, the members of Warm Up BG are weaving charity and compassion into the fabric of Wood County.

Warm Up BG is a volunteer organization in which students knit or crochet squares for blankets that will be donated to people in need.

Junior Vicki Lang began the organization just over a year ago to offer students an easy way to help the underprivileged in the Bowling Green area.

Instead of students donating money, which is scarce for most college kids, they can donate their time, said the 20-year-old Lang.

And how much time they donate is completely up to each person. Students can contribute one square or a thousand. Either way they are helping, Lang said.

“It’s such a great way to get students involved because it’s so low-commitment,” she added.

On average, it only takes an hour to make a blanket square, which is technically a 7-by-9-inch rectangle. When 49 of the squares are finished they can be sewn together to make a blanket.

The group prefers to make the blankets – as opposed to raising money and buying them – because they feel their homemade blankets are much more meaningful.

“It’s so nice to get something homemade, something that someone spent time on and put so much thought into,” Lang said.

With so many people coming together to make a single blanket, each recipient gets a truly special gift, said Breanna Jay, vice president of the group. “No one is going to have the same blanket.”

Last school year the group donated a total of 29 blankets to the Wood County Job and Family Services and the Cocoon Shelter, a domestic abuse center for women.

This year their goal is to make 35 blankets.

“We already have 13 blankets done, so I think we will easily reach our goal,” Lang said.

Nonetheless, Lang said they are always looking for more people to join the group or donate squares, including men.

Knitting and crocheting are seldom thought of as male activities, but the group already has a couple of guys who make squares.

“It’s only girly if you are crocheting pink fluffy blankets,” said Emily Young, the secretary of Warm Up BG.

“It’s actually a good way to meet girls,” Lang added with a laugh.

Currently there are about 20 people who show up for the meetings, which are every Sunday at 9 p.m. in 107 Hanna Hall.

Anyone is welcome to come to the meetings, even if they don’t know how to knit or crochet – many of the members will gladly teach newcomers, Lang said.

In addition to being a great volunteer opportunity, the meetings give students a chance to connect with one another in a laid-back, friendly setting.

“It’s very social,” Young said. “We have a lot of fun.”

Even if students don’t attend the meetings they can make squares on their own time and turn them in later, Young said.

Many of the students knit or crochet squares while they are in class, at their jobs, or on the couch watching TV.

“It doesn’t make you feel bad about sitting on your butt, because you’re still doing something productive,” Jay said.

The group is being even more productive this year, as they became an official student organization in April.

In addition to the 35 blankets they plan to make, Warm Up BG is holding a scarf and hat sale on Oct. 21 and 22 in the student union to raise money for supplies.

The homemade hats and scarves will cost approximately $10 to $20.

The group also has boxes set up around campus so students can drop off donations, including yarn, squares, blankets, scarves, hats and mittens. The boxes are located in the Wellness Connection (170 Health Center Building); the Honors Office (126 Harshman-Dunbar); and the United Christian Fellowship Center (313 Thrustin Ave.).

Lang also enlists help by offering workshops to various groups that would like to learn how to knit or crochet.

Editor’s Note: If anyone would like more information on Warm Up BG, they can e-mail the group at [email protected]. Any questions or suggestions regarding the workshops, meetings, donations or lessons can also be directed to this e-mail.