When Keely Greubel became aware of the homelessness, poverty and sadness in the world, she wanted to do something.
And now there’s a club for that.
The Do Something Club met at the Indianola Middle School Monday to take on its first big project — making tie blankets for children at the Mercy Pediatric Hospital in Des Moines.
“I always took things for granted,” said Greubel. “Now I see what I have when most people don’t have shelter and things to survive.”
Greubel herself suffered the loss of her parents, Ashley and Joe, in 2017.
“it’s encouraged me to read the Bible and my faith,” she said. “I’ve seen more of what we have and others don’t.”
One day, when she was driving with her grandmother, the two saw a homeless man and Greubel wanted to help in some way. Her grandmother pointed out that money wasn’t the only thing Greubel could give.
After listening to the song “Do Something” by singer Matthew West, she went to one of her teachers, Kristi Dusenbery, with her ideas. “She was very heartfelt when she came in,” said Dusenbery. “She really felt burdened to do something.”
Greubel decided to start the effort with tie blankets after seeing a cousin with a broken arm in the hospital in Iowa City.
She and Dusenbery started collecting fabric donations and on Monday after school, about 20 teachers and students of all grade levels gathered to turn the fabric into blankets. They’ll have enough for almost 30 blankets with patterns ranging from elephants, to stripes to plain pink.
A group will go to Mercy on Friday to present the blankets, said Dusenbery.
The next project will likely include care packages for the homeless, Greubel said. She wants to include socks, toothbrushes and other necessities, and give them to people to hand out when they encounter people who need them.
Those participating in the project said they were happy to help out. Science teacher Melinda Davis said she was excited to help the community and to “help other people get their dreams up and going because they couldn't do it by themselves.”
Melinda said she wasn’t surprised by Keely’s effort or that teachers were among those helping the effort.
“When you know the student and that they want to do something, there’s nothing we’re going to do to stop that, we’re going to come help,” she said.
While she had experience tying blankets, her partner on the project, math teacher Rob Robinson, said he did not. “I got one of these for a Christmas present from a sister-in-law, and I appreciate it a lot more now because I know she made it and I know what it took.”
Eighth-grader Cassie Andersen was one of a group of three working on a camouflage blanket. They said they wanted to support kids in the hospital, particularly those who were there for a long stretch.
Andersen said she wants the patients to know that people are thinking of them.
And none of them were surprised that Keely was driving the effort.
“She has a huge heart,” said Andersen.
“She’s a huge doer,” added Natalie Geelan. “She loves making a difference. It’s nice to have a heart like hers to celebrate.”