By Lorrie Ham
The Westonka girls basketball program took part in a service learning project on Jan. 21 that went beyond the court. The high school student-athletes tied 28 fleece blankets and donated them to the Hennepin County Sheriff Department and the Orono Police Department to be placed in squad cars and given out to children and families in need during emergency situations.
The project stemmed from a tragic situation a couple of years ago, where a family was able to receive a blanket during a crisis situation. The family has now turned their heartache into healing, asking communities to help others by donating blankets to area law enforcement agencies and shelters to give comfort during difficult times.
During the service project, the players also had the opportunity to have a mental health therapist from Relate Counseling join them to talk about mental health and suicide awareness. The goal was to help in creating open dialogue about how we can bring more light to the importance of mental health in communities across the state of Minnesota.
The White Hawks are proud of the Westonka community. Thanks to many generous community organizations—including the Rotary Club of Mound Westonka, Northwest Tonka Lions and Jubilee Foods, as well as local family donors—this project was completely funded.
The girls basketball program is glad that their efforts will help families in need of warmth and kindness during difficult times.