Plains Beta Club Makes Blankets for Foster Care Program

Plains Beta Club Makes Blankets for Foster Care Program
Plains Beta Club Makes Blankets for Foster Care ProgramThe transition to a new foster home can often be a difficult experience for children. When children are placed with a foster family, their belongings are many times transported in trash bags. When the Beta Club members at Plains Junior heard this, they knew they had to help these children transition to their new homes. 

So the Beta Club partnered with the Warm Welcomes Outreach organization, which puts together welcome bags filled with comfort and necessity items for these children. 

On a recent Saturday morning, a group of students met to learn how to make fleece blankets for the welcome bags. Parents donated the supplies for the eighth-graders to make 14 blankets for Warm Welcomes. Some students even took home supplies to work on blankets at home.

This is just one of the many service projects that the 67-member Beta Club completed this school year. Each member was asked to contribute 15 hours of service to the community, but they have far surpassed that goal. To date, the group has logged 1166 community service hours. 

During that time, the students raised over $2000 for the Dragonfly Foundation through a quarter drive, helped at the Dragonfly Gala, provided donations to the Wounded Warrior Foundation, volunteered at Matthew 25 Ministries, pitched in at school carnivals and other school activities, as well as volunteered at the Midpointe Library, the MLK Day parade, local churches, and many other places. They also hope to gather more donations for Warm Welcomes before the school year ends. 

Heather Balyeat, parent advisor for the group, taught the students how to make the blankets. “During our meetings this year, the students have shared their volunteer stories, and I am very impressed at the depth of caring and concern they have for their community,” said Balyeat. “I know many people worry about having selfish children in this generation, but after hearing their stories and seeing how much they have done already, I think we are putting the world in good hands.” Balyeat's daughter Kaylin, who serves as secretary of the club, sums it up by saying that her fellow Beta Club members really have fun doing these projects and "putting time into something that actually helps people is really rewarding.”

The Beta Club is a national organization and Plains started their club in 2010. Seventh-graders are invited to submit an application to participate in the club next school year. Members are asked to maintain a 3.75 GPA and complete at least 15 hours of community service.

Beta Club members learned how to make fleece blankets, and will present 14 completed blankets to Warm Welcomes in May. Shown here from left to right: Caden Shirk, Ian Van Gorp, Quentin Walker, and Drew Kates.

Some of the 67 members of the Beta Club are shown here completing their blanket to bring comfort to children entering foster care (from left to right): Zoey Behrman, Grace Birch, Apurva Kanagal, and Grace Behrman.
Photo above:
Plains Junior Beta Club members spent a Saturday making blankets for an foster care outreach organization. Front row, left to right: Yuna Kim, Jenna Lauderback, Grace Behrman, and Zoe Behrman; back row, left to right: Apurva Kanagal, Alexa Ramsey, Kaylin Balyeat, Grace Birch, Maddie Zimmerer, Ian Van Gorp,Quentin Walker, Allen Kozlovsky, Drew Kates, andCaden Shirk.