Champion Cheernastics donates crocheted blankets for Operation Warm Heart
Local athletes will be spreading holiday cheer next month through a community service project dedicated to keeping the homeless warm this winter.
Members of Champion Cheernastics in Bossier City began crocheting eight-by-eight inch, multi-colored squares in January and recently began putting them all together. The more than 1,000 squares will make approximately 20 blankets for a project they named Operation Warm Heart.
Aleta Garza, head coach and owner, said the idea for the project came a year ago when there were questions about what to give each other for Christmas. As a gym that’s based on Christian morals, Garza said she saw it as an opportunity to teach the real meaning of the holiday season.
Garza said. “I really want these girls to see what it feels like to do something good,” Garza said. “Christmas is not about waiting for Santa, but giving back to your community.”
Each blanket uses 54 squares and, for most, it was their first time to crochet. Garza said everyone in the gym participated in some manner, whether it was donating yarn, crocheting squares or putting all of the blankets together.
Grace Norman, 10, was eager to help despite no previous experience with yarn and hook. However, she said it was important to be involved because she would be helping someone in the end.
Brenda Norman, Grace’s mother, is quite fond of the gym’s project because it’s a valuable lesson to learn.
“It’s definitely a great time for them to learn the real meaning of Christmas,” Norman said.
The blankets will be completed and distributed within the next few weeks and are sure to provide someone warmth for Christmas. For Garza, there’s nothing that makes her smile more than to see her athletes have an impact on someone’s life.
“I am very proud of what they have done,” she said. “We’re not just teaching them about cheerleading, but life lessons and values.”