Sep 26, 2023

Local honors students make blankets for kids

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From left, Sonia Halabi of South Barrington, Madison Rohn of O’Fallon, Jasmine Gage of Cahokia, Destiny Johnson of Maryville, Marissa Barauskas of Bolingbrook, Elana Melzer and Mia Wylie of Maryville take a moment for a group photo.

Lars Gindler of Collinsville (left) and Jeremy Kinealy of St. Louis (right) work together to create a blanket.

Students from McKendree University's Honors Program gathered on Friday, Dec. 2 to create cozy fleece blankets for those in need at their Finals Procrastination Party on campus.

Within a span of two hours, the students came together to craft two large no-sew fleece blankets, which will then be donated to the local Binky Patrol. From there, the blankets will be distributed to either a local hospital or a shelter for children in need.

"We decided to make the blankets because the holiday season is one that is best exemplified through giving," said Mia Wylie, a sophomore from Maryville. "With this in mind, we wanted to include an opportunity for Honors students to help others in a way that brought everyone together in doing something kind for others."

The students also took part in cookie decorating and spending time with one another before studying for their final exams, which took place from Monday, Dec. 5 through Thursday, Dec. 8.

"Making blankets was a great way to get to know other Honors students and to have a good time while helping people in our community," said Marissa Barauskas, a sophomore from Bolingbrook. "The party was so fun, and I’m happy to have experienced it."

McKendree University's Honors Program offers academically talented students a qualitatively different educational experience filled with unique, challenging courses. This program provides students the opportunity to explore a wide range of disciplines in depth and culminates an in independent research project developed with a faculty mentor.

In order to enter the program, incoming high school students must have at least a 3.75 GPA to qualify while transfer students must have at least a 3.0 college GPA or be a member of a recognized honor society at their previous institution.

About Binky Project

Binky Patrol was officially founded by Susan Finch in May 1996 in Laguna Beach, California. From its initial five volunteers, Binky Patrol has grown to over 160 chapters and an estimated 20,000 volunteers nationwide. Volunteers can sew, knit, crochet or quilt binkies in any pattern they desire and donate them to children in need. No-sew binkies, which use polar fleece, allow volunteers to create soft blankets more quickly.

To learn more, please visit

About Binky Project