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Comfort blankets go to Pelican Rapids accident victims

Blankets from Project Linus that were recently donated by Fargo and West Fargo students, were distributed to Pelican Rapids High School students following the tragic bus accident that killed 16-year-old Jessica Weishair and injured several band students on April 5.

Blankets were given to each of the students on the bus that overturned, as well as students on the other bus.

Students from West Fargo Community High School and the District's kindergarten students had recently completed 72 blankets, which were donated to Project Linus on March 28.

Lynne Olien, Project Linus coordinator, said that at least 45 or 50 of the West Fargo blankets were given to Pelican Rapids students, along with blankets made by students from Woodrow Wilson Community High School in Fargo.

She took a total of 150 blankets along with her to distribute to the accident victims.

Colleen Bremer, principal at West Fargo Community High School, said it was gratifying for the students to hear that their blankets made a difference in other students' lives. They didn't expect to hear news so quickly.

Sherry Anderson, a paraprofessional at Community High School, said her niece, nephew, and brother-in-law were passengers on the two buses. Zach Waller, a senior from Pelican Rapids, was riding on the bus that flipped, but was uninjured. His sister, Ashley, and his dad, Peter, were on the other bus.

In a recent phone conversation, Anderson was told that when the Pelican Rapids students received the blankets, they grabbed them tight and were thrilled to get them.

Project Linus has already received several messages from students from Pelican Rapids, thanking them for the blankets. "It's good to know the blankets are appreciated," Olien said.

A card attached to each of the Project Linus Blankets reads, "made with tender loving care for Project Linus," along with this poem written in 1999 by Suzanne Gonzalez:

My heart was thinking of you, my hands knew what to do

This blanket grew out of love

I want to share with you.

I hope it will keep you warm,

And befriend you late at night,

I hope you'll come to love it,

And be comforted by its sight.

Let this blanket wrap you

In friendship,

and cover you in love.

Because this blanket

was thinking of you,

Long before it was even done.