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As winter approaches and the weather starts to cool down, UCF students are taking note of those who may not have shelter or a blanket to keep warm.

Cymone Forde, the Student Government Association's community outreach specialist, recognized a need for warmth and organized a "Fleece It Up" event on Monday for students to make fleece blankets for the homeless.

“I was looking at ways for students to get involved within the community without actually having to go out,” said Forde, who plans on making "Fleece it Up" an event every semester.

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The Student Union's Cedar Key Room was packed with more than 60 students with the intent to make no-sew blankets, which only require scissors and a ruler to make a twin-sized blanket.

With a goal to make 100 blankets at the event, SGA supplied 250 yards of fleece, which was purchased from Pico Textile in California.

To make one fleece blanket, students used about 2-and-a-half yards of fleece and spent roughly 45 minutes for the entire process, using a ruler and scissors to measure and cut 1-inch fringes around each blanket. The fringes are then tied together to hold the two layers together.

Students involved with different organizations joined together in an effort to make a difference in the homeless community.

Uyen Nguyen, a sophomore computer science major, said she participated in the event because she "just wanted people to be warm this winter.”

Freshman mechanical engineering major Michael Greenwell decided to volunteer at the event solely because of his concern for others.

“Winter is coming up, and there are people who are going to need to be warm, so I just want to help them feel more comfortable,” Greenwell said.

All the finished blankets will be transported to different places around Orlando. Some will be donated to the Ephraim Project, which is also an SGA event dedicated to helping the homeless, and others will be donated to the Coalition for the Homeless, specifically to the women and children. The remaining will go to the Salvation Army and Knights Pantry.

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Brianna Jones is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.

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