Since reading several articles in the Daily Sun over the past few months about local efforts to collect warm clothing for those in need in Mongolia, teacher Julie Giguere's third-grade class at Mountain Charter School has been knitting at every opportunity.
Grades second through fifth at the school have also been participating in these knitting projects to contribute to the Flagstaff International Relief Effort (F.I.R.E.).
"We've been fund-raising to buy the yarn," Giguere said. "We sold ice cream and pickles. The kids really took hold of it, and I did lessons on citizenship and giving back to the communities."
Giguere's assistant, Maureen Berry, supervises the school's knitting club Thursdays after school.
The students knitted lots of scarves and hats and at least 12 no-sew, fleece blankets, using a special pattern provided by F.I.R.E.
Seven volunteers from F.I.R.E. successfully distributed 8 tons of clothing to more than 7,000 people in Mongolia in November. They spent two straight weeks touching eight of the 20 provinces. They visited prisons, schools, orphanages, hospitals, sewers and homes.
Local photographer David Edwards, who is much-respected internationally for his images of Central Asia, spearheaded the start of the relief effort in 1993.