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Hand-Made Blankets Gifted to SHIP and SIP Scholars
August 27, 2015

Three high school seniors and several volunteers from knitting groups across the state of New Jersey crafted hand-made blankets for 60 scholars participating in the Rutgers School of Social Work  Institute for Families Transitions for Youth Summer Housing and Internship (SHIP) and Summer Internship Program (SHIP). SHIP and SIP are DCF-funded programs that support actively enrolled and/or eligible New Jersey Foster Care (NJFC) Scholars who are seeking to expand their financial, professional, and social connections as well as secure safe and stable housing during the summer months.

The scholars were surprised at the program’s culminating graduation with 60 beautifully hand-made blankets. Nancy Fusco, a member of one of the knitting groups, led the charge to recruit members to knit blankets.  Francesca Sena, daughter of Mia Sena, Director of the Office of Training and Educational Programs for the Institute for Families, and her friends Ciara Nicholson and Max Mescher from Somerville High School also hand-made no-sew fleece blankets for the scholars.  Each scholar received either a knitted or fleece blanket, and the scholars were truly touched by the thoughtfulness and generosity of the crafters. Many of the youth had never received a handmade gift before, and the SSW greatly appreciates the time and commitment of the volunteers to create the blankets and personally deliver them our youth at graduation.

If you have a skill or a craft you could share, or are part of a craft group or know of anyone who would like to share their talents to help support our youth as they make their way through college, please contact Associate Program Manager Lesley Dixon at

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