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Stacey Brandt and Laure Meyer of Sumner, Iowa, find a unique way to "pay it forward," making fleece blankets, which they call "warm hugs," for the needy. They combine their challenge money to buy fabric and then gather a hundred volunteers from their town to help. The volunteers make the blankets by cutting and tying fleece fringe along the edges, and then distribute them to five local nursing homes and hospitals.
With the money leftover, they buy winter clothes for Helping Hands Coat Closet. They give the last $100 to a single mother struggling to finish nursing school.
"As the volunteers poured in to help make the blankets, that was an amazing, awesome feeling," says Stacey. "So many people in a small, rural community willing to help others."