261 blankets headed to Haiti
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Melodia Pyne of Franklin Township stored the blankets at her home until they could be delivered to Haiti.
More than 260 blankets are on their way to Haiti, thanks to the compassion of a little boy who inspired the community to help.
When 8-year-old Spencer Pyne saw the images of homeless children on television following the earthquake in Haiti, he told his mother he wanted to do something to help the children. Spencer will be a third grade student at Franklin Elementary School in the fall.
"Mommy, we have to help," was his plea. "Look Mommy, the children are hurting."
His mother Melodia Pyne of Franklin Township felt his pain and decided to help her son help the children. She said she had no idea that the television images would be so graphic, or she might not have allowed her child to watch the newscast.
Pyne decided to form an organization to help. She named the organization Students 4 Students because it is children helping children.
As part of the project, the group began collecting new or nearly new blankets to send to the children of Haiti. Assisting were two Lehighton Area High School students, Brianna Oswald and Kenzie Teno, who helped with the project as part of their senior graduation requirements.
Within three weeks they had collected 261 blankets from throughout the community. On Tuesday morning the blankets were delivered to a warehouse in New Brunswick, N.J. by Dave Hawk and Carl Gross, members of the Franklin Township Lions Club. Hawk is current president and Gross is a past president of the club. The club donated the transportation to help with the cause.
"The blankets are going to the Feed the Children warehouse in New Jersey," said Pyne. "I am so thankful to the Franklin Township Lions Club for delivering the blankets so they can help the children."
She said the Feed the Children organization will see to it that the blankets are delivered to the children of Haiti.
"I am very proud of my son for wanting to help the children and I am overwhelmed that the community stepped up to help," she said. "We got blankets from all the schools in the Lehighton area and some were their personal blankees. It was a great community effort."
Hawk said that the club tries to do good things for the local community and tries to aid the people of Franklin Township.
"We're doing this for the children," said Hawk. "We want the children to get these blankets."
Pyne also held a Candle Light Benefit Concert last April at the Lehighton Park amphitheater to raise money to help the children. The main performers were students of the Lehighton area.