Gig Harbor COFIA Club Donates Handmade Blankets for Rubongi Students

January 16, 2015“To those whom much is given, much is expected.” said Gig Harbor Junior Davis Halsan when asked why he was spending an afternoon sitting on a school floor making fleece blankets. More than fifty Gig Harbor High School students cut, tied and assembled a colorful rainbow of soft blankets, all to be donated to the children in Rubongi, Uganda.


The tie blanket project was born a year earlier following a visit to Gig Harbor High School from COFIA Founder, Carolyn Othieno. So inspired by her life struggles and triumphs to overcome poverty and never give up on her pursuit of an education, Gig Harbor students decided they wanted to find a way to help the children of St. Jude Primary School in Rubongi, Uganda. The Tie Blanket project was inspired by a story of a young St. Jude student who Carolyn meet on a visit to Rubongi. Upon meeting the girl’s mother, Carolyn noticed an old worn jacket hanging in the family hut. The student revealed that her mother’s jacket was what she used to cover herself and stay warm at night. Something as simple as a blanket to sleep with was not an option for the young girl because of extreme poverty. Inspired by these stories, Gig Harbor student Michaela Seferian-Jenkens decided to found the first ever Gig Harbor High School COFIA Club. One of her goals was to continue the Tie Blanket project to ensure more students had a blanket to cover themselves with each night at bedtime. The Gig Harbor COFIA Club would go on to serve their local communities in many ways, including tutoring and working with homeless teens.


On Tie Blanket day, the massive community space inside Gig Harbor High School was covered with fabric, teenagers and faculty, all working together to make a child’s life a little better. Supporting the blanket making efforts were exchange students from Germany, Finland and Switzerland, along with representatives from the “Girls for Change” Club, an organization committed to making positive change in the world.

By the end of the afternoon, more than 200 handmade blankets were stuffed into dozens of large black garbage bags, and packed into trucks, soon to be shipped along with 40,000 lbs, of academic supplies and resources for underprivileged students in Eastern Uganda.