Brothers Nick and Mike Fiorito of Brooklyn, N.Y., started a nonprofit called Blankets of Hope to provide warm blankets to homeless people, including short notes of encouragement, reminding people that they are cared about, and that donors wish the best for them in the future. Although Brooklyn may seem far away to some, there is a close local connection to the Fiorito brothers.
Kelly Hynes, who is teaching fifth grade at Love Creek Elementary, happened to be Nick Fiorito's teacher in Brooklyn a number of years ago. "When I first saw the Blankets of Hope story, I thought, 'Oh, wow! I know them!'" said Hynes. "I was so proud to see what they were doing in the city, I knew immediately I wanted to help them expand their program by bringing it to my new home in Delaware."
Hynes reached out to the brothers, who then sent 250 purple blankets to Love Creek Elementary in early December, and the fourth- and fifth-grade students undertook writing individual notes to go with each blanket.
"When Mrs. Hynes told me what she wanted to do, I was both excited and impressed," said Trish Mumford, Love Creek Elementary principal. "I think what the brothers are doing is incredible, and the world could use more people like them. If our students at Love Creek can touch the lives of 250 people during the holidays, I would say that's the best gift we could ask for as educators."
Students were writing notes the few weeks before winter break, and Hynes planned to deliver the blankets to a number of locations before Christmas. Hynes said, "My hope is that the warmth of a blanket and a heartfelt letter from a child will bring joy this holiday season to those who need it most."
For more information, go to www.happyfreaks.com.