MOMS Orange County recently received handmade baby blankets generously donated by 14 year-old volunteer, Lauren Pantages. We spent some time speaking to Lauren about herself and her experience.
Hi Lauren, can you tell me about yourself?
I’m 14 years old and will be a freshman at Villa Park High School in the fall. I enjoy volleyball, swimming, and Polynesian dancing which I’ve been doing for the last seven years. I’m just like any typical teenage—I love to go to the beach and hang out with my friends.
So you’re starting high school soon! How do you feel about that?
I’m totally excited—can’t wait to start!
Can you tell me about your involvement with Girl Scouts and the service project?
Sure. I’ve been a part of Girl Scouts since 4th grade when I started as a “Junior Girl Scout” at the Orange County Buddhist Church. It’s really fun. Highlights include an end of the year party, trips to the beach, Knott’s Berry Farm, and church cleanups. We also make goodies like brownies and Japanese mochi. For my Silver Award project, I chose to make baby blankets in honor of my grandma who passed away last year.
That’s really touching. Why did you decide to make baby blankets?
One of my fondest memories of my grandmother was the beautiful blankets she would make for the entire family. My grandma taught my mom how to make them and so my mom taught me. I made about 20 blankets and donated them to MOMS Orange County.
How did you find out about MOMS?
Well, my mom (Laura Pantages) works for Disney and she herself recently volunteered at MOMS Orange County for a room make-over project (The Disneyland Resort Beach Bash Children’s Playroom in November 2008). She told me that MOMS is a cool organization and that it would be great to help out.
How did you go about making the blankets for the Silver Award badge?
The Silver Award requires 40 hours of service. First, I visited the fabric store to select the fabrics. I then cut up the fabric and sewed everything together. I also submitted reflections on my experience. This was my first time doing this type of project and I really enjoyed it!
It seems like you really enjoy expressing yourself artistically.
I do! I am really into art and creativity which I get from my mom because she is very artistic, too. Along with dancing, I enjoy taking art classes like drawing and painting. I want to become an architect when I’m older and was inspired by my uncle when I saw his work as an architect.
You recently visited MOMS with your blankets. How was that experience?
I came to visit during the Mommy & Me class and it was so interesting to see the moms bring their babies in for activities with music. After meeting the families, it felt great to be able to help others who might be going through a tough time and are in need.
What would you say to other volunteers who are interested in a service project for MOMS?
MOMS Orange County is a great program that helps families. Making blankets or any other donations or projects is a simple way to give back and I would recommend it to anyone!