65 Handmade Blankets Earns Maia the Girl Scout Gold Award
Maia Gonzalez is a 16 year old Girl Scout with a mission to keep patients comfortable in the hospital setting. The Hauppauge High School student recently donated 65 blankets to the medical center for use at the Nursing and Rehabilitation Care Center and the hospital’s Palliative Care Program.
Maia started crocheting in middle school and achieved her Silver Award from Girl Scouts of America after donating dozens of baby hats and other items to the Maternity Department at St. Catherine of Siena. She initiated a club called “Crochet for a Cause”, where she teaches middle school students how to crochet and encourages them to make items for those in need. The original club has now expanded to include Hauppauge Library and her church, St. Thomas Moore. The club is now open to members of all ages and has become a Mecca for keeping the art of crocheting alive. The students who crochet in the club receive community service credit for their projects—and the seniors at St. Thomas Moore enjoy interacting with the young people. The seniors also help secure donations of yarn for the projects.
Due the extensive growth of Maia’s original crocheting initiative which earned her the Silver Award, she was recently approved for the Gold Award. The Gold Award is noted as the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. The prestigious award challenges high school girls to make a difference in the world—“their corner of the world”. The impact must be community-wide and sustaining for other generations. “Maia’s project certainly achieves the culmination of leadership and commitment to implement change,” said St. Catherine’s Director of Community Relations Heather Reynolds. “The blankets she provides give the residents at the Nursing and Rehabilitation Care Center and the patients at the hospital a sense of comfort—they are beautiful and always received with the same love that they are made.”
When Maia is not actively teaching others the art of crocheting and being a diligent student, she enjoys playing the piano and singing on the church choir.
Photo (L-R): Eileen Gonzalez (mother of Maia), Maia Gonzalez, Anna Beltrani, Hauppauge Librarian Brenda DePetris.