Last year in mid-December I started seeing posts on Facebook related to a nonprofit I’d never heard of before. The Greyson Project was started right here in Berthoud by two of our BHS grads. After marrying and starting a family several years ago, Heather and Tyson’s young son Greyson was hospitalized and ultimately passed away. As he spent his last Christmas there, family and friends decorated his hospital room with lights, garland, stockings and a tree. Heather and Tyson were deeply moved by this act and after Greyson’s passing started a nonprofit in his name that provides bags of decorations for families who will spend the holiday there, to bring a piece of that spirit to them in their difficult time. The project now serves hospitals in at least 13 states and seems on track to deliver more than 1000 bags this year.
It was too late for our makerspace to contribute at that point since the season was almost over, but I contacted Heather and asked if we could help out the following year, but make the stockings for the bags instead of buying them and also if we could make pillowcases for each bag so the young patient had a festive place to lay his or her head. After getting the green light, I sent out a call to our staff to pick up decorations on clearance as the season ended – man, did they deliver! For nearly a year a storage room here at the school has been stuffed with trees and holiday decor, and as this November rolled around our students got to work with the magic pillow case pattern we’ve used before and a fun new stocking pattern that we modified a little by making the lining fabric longer (instead of a separate cuff piece) so there was pattern inside and out. Students also had many memories of using perler beads from their elementary days, and made a bunch of great ornaments using various patterns we found online. We welcomed several new students to the space with this project and it was fun to watch them invest in it and encourage each other as they worked.
Students added a small note to each stocking/pillowcase set so the recipient could also receive some well wishes, and enjoyed “shopping” in our back room for the particular tree, ornaments, window clings, garland and crafts/activity kits they wanted to add to finish their bag. Heather and Tyson were also kind enough to come pick up our donation, so it was a great opportunity for the students to meet the founders of a nonprofit and give their gifts directly to them – as they left, Heather and Tyson told me they were headed south to Denver to deliver the bags to a hospital right then. I was so glad we got to participate in this project and I expect it will become a tradition in our space. This year we donated 15 complete bags that included handmade items from 18 different students.