NEW HOPE, Minn. (WCCO) — Each week for WCCO-TV’s High School Sports Rally we turn the spotlight on high school students in our community who are giving back.

This week a freshman at Cooper High School in New Hope is following her mother’s lead to bring a little love from home to children in the hospital. After recovering from illness herself, Claire Johnson is determined to show other sick kids she cares by making blankets for them while they are in the hospital.

It may not sound like much and in truth it only takes about 20 minutes for a blanket this size, but Johnson knows just how big of an impact a small gesture can have.

“I have immune deficiency, so when I was younger I was in the hospital a lot and at one of the visits, a family came in and asked if I wanted a blanket. I tought it was so cool that somebody else was caring about me,” Johnson said.

Claire’s mother used to make blankets for friends and family as Christmas presents. When she died of cancer a couple of years ago, Claire picked up where Paula left off.

“Paula was also very caring and you know, wanted to help people as much as she could and I see that in all the kids,” said Mark Johnson, Claire said.

The 15-year-old has been making blankets for about a year. Now with the help of her friends, she’s building towards a big donation to The Children’s Hospital.

“Right now we’re at about 35 and we have stuff to make 50. And then this is going to be a lot more,” Claire said.

Years after a small gesture brightened her day, Claire knows exactly what she’s looking forward to.

“I’m just excited to see the kids’ faces when they get the blankets,” she said.

If you know someone you think deserves the Community Spotlight Award, you can make a nomination here.


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