Teens at Albany’s Jackson Street Youth Shelter will be able to take a gift with them when they leave the shelter: a hand-tied blanket, courtesy of Albany Options School.
Students in Anna Harryman’s Family and Consumer Studies class made 12 of the blankets in class on Thursday for Salvador Maciel, the shelter supervisor, to take with him.
Jackson Street, at 1240 Seventh Ave. S.E., opened this past May. Youths ages 10 to 17 are eligible for residence.
Maciel said the fleece blankets will be given to youths who are exiting the shelter, so as to give them something of their own to bring to their next residence. They also may be available for entering teens in immediate crisis who might feel better with something warm to hold.
“It’s fantastic, being able to coordinate with other services here,” he said.
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Each of Harryman’s 12 students was able to make a blanket for himself or herself, as well as one for the shelter.
Jasmine Ramirez, 16, made a blanket in greens and blues for the shelter, then chose fabric with the distinctive pink ribbon pattern of the American Cancer Society for her own family. “My mom had breast cancer,” she explained.
In another part of the room, 17-year-olds Christian Shannon and Austin Fox teamed up on a camouflage-patterned blanket for the shelter. “Can’t really go wrong with camo,” Shannon explained.
The FACS class at the alternative high school offers instruction in foods and child development as well as fabric arts, Harryman said. The idea is to teach skills that students can use throughout their lives, but community service is a big part of the curriculum.
Students said they enjoy that aspect of the class. “I think it’s cool,” Shannon said. “It’s nice helping out people in need.”
Ramirez said if she were to be at the shelter and receive a blanket, “I would feel really happy, knowing someone cared.”