WATERLOO/ CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) - The Junior League of Waterloo-Cedar Falls has been serving local women for many years. One of their most popular projects is "Prom's Closet", where they provide prom dresses to teenage girls in the community.
However, with the pandemic putting proms in jeopardy this year, they decided to cancel the event, but create a new one instead.
Knowing the toll the pandemic has taken on teen mental health, they wanted a project to highlight mental health resources. Therefore, they created, "Wrapped in a Hug".
Trying to provide warmth and comfort during these times, Junior League members have been making hand-tied blankets to distribute to teens and kids in the community.
Each blanket is sponsored by a community member. They also contain a tag with an inspirational quote, as well as a QR code that offers mental health resources.
Working in healthcare, Vice President Elect, Heather Cue, has seen the pandemic's impact on mental health. She told KWWL it's important for kids to know they're not alone.
"Unfortunately we've all expected them to just close up in their homes sit on a computer all day long and consider that their childhood, their growing up, their you know connections," Cue said, "providing just a little bit of extra resource as well as comfort and warmth."
Although the pandemic has led to many challenges, President Melanie Knipp said it was amazing to see her team come together for this effort.
"One volunteer makes an impact, but when a whole bunch of like-minded women get together the impact is tenfold," Knipp said, "it's really exciting that we can learn from senior members all the way to our newer members."
The organization has made 200 blankets and will be handed out to groups and schools like the Boys and Girls Club Teen Center, Waterloo East and West high schools, and more.
The organization will start distributing blankets March 15th.