fair oaks blanket eventGetting past language barriers can sometimes be difficult, but for the diverse families and students of Fair Oaks Elementary, coming together to help two local fire departments on Feb. 28 was well worth the effort.

For the seventh consecutive year, Fair Oaks hosted its “Make and Take a Blanket” event where families signed up to create fleece tie blankets together. Made possible by funding from a District 279 Foundation grant, the event gives families the opportunity to spend quality time together while making something meaningful.

As has been tradition since 2011, each family takes a blanket home at the end of the night and the extra blankets are donated to the Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center fire departments. Those organizations give the blankets to families in need throughout the year.

Ana Markowski, an educational support professional who works at Fair Oaks, coordinated the event this year. What started out with 20 families participating seven years ago grew to more than 100 families participating this year, she said.

“This was our largest event yet,” Markowski added. “We had to add seven extra tables to the cafeteria to make room for everyone.”

When the hour-long event was over, there were nearly 50 additional blankets made for the fire departments.

“This event is always a great example of our community coming together,” Markowski said. “It proves that we don’t all have to speak the same language to make a difference for others.”

WATCH: CCX News story on Fair Oaks’ annual fleece blanket event