Watford City third-graders give up Valentine's party to help others

Photo courtesy: Nina Dyer
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WATFORD CITY, N.D. - In Watford City Wednesday, seven third-grade classrooms gave up their Valentine's Day party to create a project of love.

About 175 students worked together to make fleece tie-blankets for the local McKenzie County Hospital and the Ronald McDonald Houses in Bismarck and Fargo.

Ronald McDonald House holds a special place in third grade teacher Laura Ferry's heart. Last year, her 15-year-old son was life-flighted to a hospital in Fargo, and after almost a month in the hospital, he spent six weeks in the Ronald McDonald House. While he was there, he received a hand-made fleece blanket.

A couple of Ferry's students have also received the same type of fleece blankets during hospitalizations, so when Ferry presented the idea to the class, she says they were on board.

"It touched them, and they were willing to give up their party, per se, to make these blankets. And instead of buying the little cards to give to each other, they brought money in to buy the fleece," said Ferry.

Ferry says they weren't sure they would have enough fleece for the blankets, so she reached out to the community on social media, and the support, and fleece, came pouring in. She says Barrett's Pharmacy even gave them a discount so they could buy more fleece. Ferry says they've made at least 50 blankets and will also be able to make a money donation to the Ronald McDonald House.

Ferry says she's proud of the kids.

"They really took this and added their love into it. They understood that they were giving to others, and they understood why we did it on Valentine's Day, that it's a gift of love. And I'm just proud that third-graders got it," said Ferry.

The students will take some of the blankets to the McKenzie County Hospital in March and in May. Ferry will be taking blankets to the Ronald McDonald Houses.