It was a question from a youth during Sunday School while they were learning about fire safety that started it all. He wondered how a family would stay warm if their house caught on fire during the middle of the night and they had to get out fast without anything but their pajamas. But Tracy Ottenstroer, Director of Children’s Ministry at Cross Winds United Methodist Church, was not surprised. She knew kids will ask questions like that when they think about what they would do if it happened to them or their family.
“That led to a lively discussion,” said Ottenstroer. “That ended with a suggestion from another youth about a community service program that involved making blankets… just in case.”
So, for the next four months the youth from Cross Winds bought warm fleece material and cut and tied fringe boarders for 18 blankets they planned to donate to the Maple Grove Fire Department. The youth wanted to ensure that families would have something to keep them warm in the event they had to leave everything behind to escape their house in an emergency.
“Since the fire department came out to talk about fire safety,” added Ottenstroer. “The kids thought who better have the blankets to help the family if there was a fire, so we contacted Chief Anderson and presented all 18 blankets together.”
Maple Grove Fire Chief Scott Anderson was so appreciative he gave met them at Central Fire Station to receive the blankets and gave them a personal tour.
“It’s not unusual for kids to think about ways to help other kids like them when it comes to fire safety,” said Anderson. “What matters is that these kids did something about it and for that, we really appreciate their community service.”
Chief Anderson added that the blankets will be kept on the truck so they are ready… just in case a family needs them at a house fire on a cold night.