MONROE, CT — Several Masuk High School students spent part of their summer vacation creating handmade blankets for local children and teens impacted by domestic and sexual violence through their volunteer work for the Binky Patrol, a Monroe-based service organization.
The Binky Patrol, which creates soft blankets for children and adults in need of warmth and comfort, recently delivered more than 60 blankets to The Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport, a nonprofit which provides crisis and supportive services to victims of domestic and sexual abuse in six local communities, including Monroe.
Some of the blankets created by the Masuk volunteers will be given to children moving into CFJ’s domestic violence safe house, while the rest will be packed in the camp trunks of young people attending its Elizabeth M. Pfriem Camp HOPE America-Bridgeport program. The therapeutic summer camp and year-long mentoring program includes an overnight camp experience held annually at YMCA Camp Hi-Rock in Massachusetts, which will be held this year the week of Aug.15.
The Masuk students who volunteered for the Binky Patrol to make the blankets were freshman and sophomores including Siobhan and Aoife Riordan, Alexa Gill, Sophie Clark, Emily Hull, Ellie DeGeorge, and Lily Cameron. Gill is the granddaughter of Debra A. Greenwood, who is CFJ’s president and CEO.
Jeanne Malgioglio, a Monroe resident who coordinates the Binky Patrol’s philanthropic efforts locally, said the student volunteers worked independently at home to make piles of blankets to get to the campers in time for their summer departure.
“These girls truly exemplify the Binky Patrol spirit. I am proud of how they united to the blankets so quickly for us. They truly show what it means to have a kind heart,” said Malgioglio. “The collection was especially meaningful for the girls because Deb Greenwood’s granddaughter, Alexa Gill, was one of the teens. It was amazing to see how she joined her friends to be part of this project which means so much to her grandmother and the organization she leads.”
Greenwood said the entire team at CFJ was touched by the efforts of the Masuk students and the Binky Patrol. “We love to have young people involved in supporting our mission, especially our Camp HOPE program because it directly benefits young people who have experienced significant trauma in their lives,” she said. “Having these blankets for our kids to take to camp or for comfort in our safe house is even more special knowing they were made by some wonderful young people supporting the Binky Patrol and our mission.”
In 2019 the Binky Patrol was honored by CFJ as its Community Partner of the Year for its ongoing commitment to the nonprofit which provides crisis and supportive services to victims of domestic and sexual violence in the communities of Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Stratford, Monroe, and Trumbull.