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Cowell School conducts blanket drive for shelter
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The sixth graders at Joshua Cowell School are working to literally send warm greetings to the residents at the Manteca HOPE Shelter. They have started a blanket drive which is their way of taking part in the global “youth empowerment” program called WE Day organized by Free the Children, a non-profit organization.

“The girls were inspired to do something like this because of our school participating in WE Day last year,” explained Randi Sousa-Fowzer, vice principal for both Joshua Cowell and Lincoln elementary schools. She was referring to the two female students who got the ball rolling for this first-ever philanthropic Christmas project undertaken by the school.

They already have collected some blankets but they expect the majority of the donations to come in Monday through Wednesday next week. That’s’ when they will do the counting, sorting, and then getting them delivered to the shelter by that weekend.

“We are asking for new and gently used (blankets),” Sousa-Fowzer said.

Each classroom at Joshua Cowell has a box that accepts blanket donations.

The two students who came up with the idea of a blanket drive on campus, along with their parents and Sousa-Fowzer will be taking the blankets to the shelter.

While this is the first time the school is conducting a blanket drive, Sousa-Fowler said this “might become a tradition.”

The purpose of the annual WE Day is to motivate youth to take action on local as well as global issues.