MUSCATINE — Rather than do their annual gift exchange, City of Muscatine staff got together to bring some comfort to area children for the holidays.
"It's easy to find ways to meet needs," said Stephanie Romagnoli, Human Resources manager. "It doesn't require a lot of time or any money."
Last Sunday, staff made fleece blankets to donate to the Domestic Violence Shelter of Muscatine Center for Social Action, MCSA. Romagnoli said she got the idea for the project from her family in Michigan that make blankets to donate to the local children's hospital. She said she "wanted to benefit Muscatine specifically" and identified the shelter.
"I chose that because I thought about children going through a difficult time in their life," she said, "especially during this time of year."
By creating and donating the blankets for children to choose and keep, Romagnoli said she thought it would give them something soft and comforting to hold on to.
Though there are a "great bunch of people at City Hall," making the blankets was "kind of a girl project" this year, Romagnoli said. More blankets may be made next year, as she did hear men expressing their interest in participating with one person even mentioning that he knows how to sew.
Staff have donated 24 blankets to the shelter so far with more on the way. When a member of the city council heard about the work, Romagnoli said they wanted to recognize the group at a council meeting, but that's not what staff had in mind when they agreed to make the blankets.
"We didn't do it for the recognition," Romagnoli said.
She also encourages others to give back and participate in their communities.
"We enjoyed it," Romagnoli said.