On Thursday, November 20 at exactly 3 p.m. a caravan of cars pulled into the empty parking lot of the Lakeshore Regional Child Advocacy Center in Saukville, Wisconsin. Each of the cars was stuffed with cozy, colorful blankets and smiling college students who delivered the tangible fruits of their semester-long labor of love.
The students unloaded over 300 tie blankets, one armload at a time, into the inconspicuous advocacy center. Chaired by
Concordia University Wisconsin Junior Brookelynn Grismer, the massive blanket making project brought together CUW psychology students and their friends and family and members of the area’s law enforcement community and their families, in an effort to provide comfort to kids in our community when they need it most.
The Lakeshore Regional Child Advocacy Center is a safe place for children and adolescents who may have been abused. The Center provides comprehensive, developmentally-sensitive, trauma-informed medical assessments and care for children suspected of being maltreated. It also has space for professionals to conduct a forensic interview with a child who is suspected to be a victim or witness to a crime.
To help the children get through the intense interview and evaluation process, every child is presented with a cozy comfort blanket.
“The blankets are an important part of our program,” said Rebecca Hasbani, office manager at the Center. “I am so thankful for the support of CUW and the community. I hope each person who made a blanket for a child knows that they made a difference.”
Hasbani is an alumna of CUW and a former student leader in the Psychology Club. She was well aware of the mission-mindedness of the club members when she approached them with a need for blankets. “I had no idea that the Concordia students would take it this far,” she mused. “I had hoped for 40 blankets-about a month’s inventory-when I approached them.”
Grismer was just entering her junior year at CUW when she decided to make comfort blankets her semester project. “A lot of students go to a university for four years and forget what they did and learned when they go out in the real world,” explained Grismer. “CUW’s psychology students are different. We have incredible opportunities to develop and nurture a servant heart that will set us up for a life of leadership and service.”
As a testament to the life-long connection to the psychology professors and the student club, psychology alumni were the first to step up and donate fabric for this project.
The mission of the Lakeshore Regional Child Advocacy Center is to be a trauma-informed environment where partners collaboratively investigate child abuse, families receive support and advocacy, and most importantly, the child’s words are always heard. For more information about the Center email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Lisa Liljegren is assistant vice president of strategic communications within the Office of Strategy and University Affairs.
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