By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHIELD – Five members of the Leadership Marshfield class of 2018 are working to provide comfort for those with anxiety, stress, and insomnia.
While weighted blankets have proven successful for some afflicted with anxiety-driven ailments, often families cannot accommodate the hefty price tag.
This is where Leadership class members, Nick Anderson, Joel Goham, Josh Sampson, Marissa Steinbach, and Jill Wrensch come in.
“Each year, the Leadership Marshfield class divides into groups of five and chooses a project that will improve the community. After thoughtful consideration, our group decided to partner with the Marshfield Area United Way and create The Weighted Blanket Project,” said Steinbach. “Our objective is to create weighted blankets for those in need. Weighted blankets are therapy tools that help a wide variety of ailments, such as anxiety, stress, insomnia, autism, or ADD/ADHD.
“A weighted blanket provides pressure and sensory input to the brain, causing the release of the calming chemical Serotonin – much like a big hug. These blankets can be very expensive to purchase and some families are not able to afford this effective therapy tool. “
The Weighted Blanket Project was developed in partnership with the Marshfield Area United Way, with the assistance of several community partners.
“We’ve also created a partnership with Christie Country Quilts out of Neillsville,” Steinbach added. “Without Kristine’s expert opinion and advice, this project wouldn’t be successful. She is donating her time and lending the equipment that will be essential to meet our goal. We recently spent an evening with Kristine creating a weighted blanket and shot a ‘how to’ video. This video will be used on March 10th.”
On March 10, the group and supporters will come together at Marshfield Middle School with the goal of creating 50 weighted blankets.
“Our group saw an opportunity to work with the Marshfield Middle and High School FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) students,” she said. “Some students don’t have the opportunity to work with a sewing machine and learn a valuable life skill. By including local quilters’ guilds and other sewing clubs, this project will connect generations in a unique and exciting way.”
For more information on the Weighted Blanket project, visit www.facebook.com/weightedblanketproject.