After receiving a rug while cold and studying interstate, Genevieve Blair decided she could help others who also needed a warm hug through her Rugs for Hugs program. Her initiative has led her to win the Caring in the Community award at the 2013 Young People Who Care Awards.
Genevieve, year 12 student at Penrhos College, rallied her peers to make the rugs which are then distributed by UnitingCare West to children in foster care, refugees and other people in need. Students only need to donate a few hours of their time a week to help make the rugs, which take around 2 hours each to make and are easy to learn how to do. A piece of material is cut in half with cuts added around the edges and knots tied around it to complete. From there, the rugs are donated and passed on to someone who can treasure them and can keep as their own.
Around 50 students at the school regularly volunteer their time to help out with this worthy cause and each rug costs around $5 to produce. Genevieve said that the aim of the rugs is to provide so much more than relief from the cold.
“The rugs provide both a physical and emotional hug and so far the response from the school has been really good and we’ve had hundreds of rugs made,” she said.
Renee Poetschka, community service co-ordinator at the school, nominated Genevieve for the award last year. For more information on the Young People Who Care Awards, visit http://youngpeoplewhocare.com.au.