Local student gives to charity with a warm heart

Published 2:43 pm Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One day last year, Bryce Ivey was sitting in his second-grade classroom at Helena Elementary School, listening to his class discuss giving, when he came up with a great idea.

“I came to my parents and asked if I could do something,” said Bryce, now in third grade at Helena Intermediate. “A lot of people do canned food drives, and I wanted to be different.”

Bryce and his parents searched for inspiration, finally finding it in another of Bryce’s school experiences.

Lori, Bryce’s mother, said when Bryce was in preschool, his class took a trip to the governor’s mansion in Montgomery. There, Alabama’s first lady, Patsy Riley, spoke about how she was collecting blankets for charity.

Bryce decided to take a page from Mrs. Riley’s book and came up with his charity, Wrapped in Warmth, in which he collects blankets for the needy.

Last year, in the charity’s first year, Bryce and his family collected 75 blankets. This year, their goal is to collect 100 blankets by Dec. 17.

Russell, Bryce’s father, said people’s willingness to help took the family by surprise.

“His class did it last year,” Russell said. “We had a lot of people we didn’t know dropping off blankets.”

Bryce’s school has also stepped up. The Helena Intermediate Service Club has adopted Wrapped in Warmth as a charity to help, and many of Bryce’s classmates plan to donate blankets.

However, the Iveys have been most impressed by the attitude they’ve seen in their son.

“He was really excited and passionate about it,” Lori said. “If he wanted to help other people, we wanted him to do that.”

Lori said she has heard about how Wrapped in Warmth has helped those in need. A good friend was recently visiting patients in hospice, and one of the patients had a blanket donated through Wrapped in Warmth.

The Iveys know charitable donations are down for everyone this year, with people saving money in a still-down economy.

“We don’t know that we’re going to get very many at all, but we’re hoping,” Lori said.

Bryce said no matter how many blankets he collects, he’ll continue on with Wrapped in Warmth.

“I just feel like I have a lot, so I want to give to other people,” he said. “I’m really trying to do it every year as much as I can.”

Blankets can be dropped off at the Church of the Cahaba Bend in Helena and at Helena Intermediate School during normal operating hours. For more information on Wrapped in Warmth, e-mail wrappedinwarmth@att.net.