UTICA — Seven students from the confirmation class of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in New Hartford donated blankets to the St. Luke’s Campus Pediatric Department of the Mohawk Valley Health System. The girls donated material to create three blankets each as their class service project.

The students’ goal was to “help comfort these hospitalized children by wrapping them in a colorful hug.” Hannah Russo, a member of the class, said, “We wanted to make the hospital a less scary place for kids to be when they are away from home. Being in discomfort or not feeling well is stressful enough for a child.”

Melissa Racioppa, child life specialist for the St. Luke’s Campus Pediatric Department, accepted the gift on behalf of the hospital and said, “Donations like this are so appreciated. It makes the kids feel a little more comfortable and gives them something nice to take home. We wouldn’t be able to provide this without generous donations like this one.”

Pictured above (standing, left to right are Sidney Restivo; Alyssa DuRoss; Melissa Racioppa, child life specialist; Hannah Russo; Hailey Grisham; (kneeling, left to right) Alexis Falvo; Jordan Restivo; and Kayla Wratt.

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