Skip to Content Skip to Footer Accessibility Concerns
School Happenings

Canyon Ridge student hosts blanket drive
Canyon Ridge student hosts blanket driveFor the past four years, Canyon Ridge School student Ollie McNeil has coordinated Buddy Blankets, an effort to collect blankets for those in need.  This school year, with support from both the Canyon Ridge and Kingswood Elementary School communities, Ollie collected more than 550 blankets and exceeded the initial goal of 500.
 
Ollie was struck by the idea when his mom was tucking him into bed at night. “I was originally inspired to start Buddy Blankets after talking to my mom and learning that some people don’t have a home to sleep in at night, or even one blanket to keep them warm.”   He thought he could provide a gift of comfort and warmth to those in need.  The inaugural drive provided 150 blankets and the effort has grown each and every year. “To see how it’s grown with the support and encouragement of the adults Ollie has reached out to is just amazing,” said Ollie’s mom and Canyon Ridge teacher, Brooke McNeil.
 
To drum up support, a friendly competition was proposed this year. The school that collected the most blankets provided school spirit gear to the losing principal to wear on spirit Friday. Kingswood collected 358 blankets and Canyon Ridge came in at 297 total. Jill Hoppe, Canyon Ridge principal, and Ollie had to represent the Kingswood Knights donned in purple at morning drop off on December 13.  
 
Ollie was recognized for his selfless efforts with a Dysart Extraordinary pin presented by Dr. Quinn Kellis, Dysart Unified School District superintendent on Friday, December 13. Superintendent Kellis honors individuals who demonstrate extraordinary acts of kindness to others by passing out the pins. “Hundreds of people will be warmer this holiday season because of Ollie’s work,” said Kellis. 
 
With additional community support through donations bins at the City of Surprise Police Department and AZ Ice Peoria, where Ollie plays hockey, a total of 875 blankets were collected this year. The blankets were distributed among local charities that work with the Surprise Police Department.  “Each year, I am inspired to start another blanket drive knowing that each blanket we collect keeps one more person warm at night,” said Ollie.
Posted : 12/17/2019 | Direct Link
Newer  Older