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A flurry of fleece filled the air Tuesday as youths at the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club chose favorite prints and worked their magic into turning the soft scraps into warm accessories for cancer patients of all ages and children in need.
With a few snips of the scissors and a lot of finger-tying, the dozen or so kiddos gathered from the club’s Trower and Acacia branches make quick work of a pile of donated fleece bits. Their efforts will be donated to Kaiser Permanente and NorthBay Healthcare patients throughout the year.
It’s a project the kids came up with themselves, said Susan Schwartz, the club volunteer supervising the youths. Following their Christmastime project, where they donated handmade fleece hats, scarves and blankets to local homeless residents, the youths were searching for another way to give back. They came up with making more handcrafted items but for a different group in need.
“I thought it would be neat to reach out to kids through kids,” said Gracie Nance, 15, the club’s Youth of the Year.
She thought of NorthBay because her grandmother had spent time there, and realized cancer patients of all ages, and children in general, could use something warm and snuggly to lift their spirits.  Schwartz liked the idea.
A breast cancer survivor, Schwartz remembered having a shaved head and hating it. She also recalled community members making hats for her and fellow survivors.
“I liked being able to choose a hat,” she said. “It was nice that someone cared enough to make us something.”  Gracie agreed.  “The fact that kids are making it makes it that much better,” the teen said.
Asked how many items they hoped to make, Kaeden Smith was quick to answer.
“About 1,000,” the eager 8-year-old said. “It’s easy.”
Giselle Jimenez, 8, gave the project two thumbs up.
“It’s fun,” she explained, as she worked on her Hello Kitty fabric. “We’re gonna make it for cancer people.”
Gracie added that the group, with the community’s help, also wants to donate hardback books and plush toys to children. Hypoallergenic stuffed animals are best, she said, pointing out that IKEA in West Sacramento has great hypoallergenic toys at inexpensive prices.
If you’d like to help, contact the club at
Items, including fleece fabric, can be dropped off at the club on Holly Lane during club hours.

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