Valentine's Day gifts for patients from Donlon students

Fifth grade project sends festive blankets to Children's Hospital

A group of young patients at Children's Hospital in Oakland celebrated Valentine's Day with warm, festive, decorated blankets made by students in the fifth grade at Pleasanton's Donlon Elementary School.

About 100 of students in the school's four fifth grades participated in the project planned by Britni Miller, one of the fifth grade teachers, while she was on maternity leave last year after her daughter Aubrey, now 6 months old, was born. She and her husband Mark also have a second daughter, Peyton, who will be 3 in April.

Scanning the website, an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need, Miller signed up for the blanket project. Over the Christmas holidays, she got word that her project had been approved and funded. Instructions and materials for making 16 fleece blankets were on their way, along with cut-outs of "Kitty cats," trucks and starry nights images.

Working with the three other fifth grade teachers, Miller assembled the participating students in the school library Friday afternoons to cut the material, tie it together to make blankets, affix the decorative images, write Valentine's cards for the patients and also write thank you notes to those who donated funds for the project. Those cards will be sent to donors by

This is Miller's seventh year as a teacher, including three years as a resource specialist in special education at Donlon. Born in Pleasanton, she attended Walnut Grove Elementary, Harvest Park Middle School and graduated from Foothill High School in 2003.

"I planned this project to give students an opportunity to learn the importance of 'giving back,' not just 'receiving,' while also learning new skills in making something that will help others," Miller said.


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Posted by Lori
a resident of Parkside
on Feb 12, 2014 at 9:25 am

Congrats to Mrs. Miller and the Donlon 5th graders who participated in this program. I am so proud to know some of the wonderful teachers and staff at this school who go above and beyond to encourage their students on a daily basis. Thank you to all the students and teachers who participated in this loving project. Happy Valentine's Day will now have an even more special meaning to both the givers and receivers of these blankets.

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Posted by Rick
a resident of Parkside
on Feb 12, 2014 at 9:28 am

What a GREAT story to read. Brought a Huge smile to my face!

Congratulations to Britni Miller for her leadership in the effort, as well as the other 5th grade teachers and STUDENTS at Donlon. You are making a difference for children in the hospital, and your selfishness in this project is a great example of what teamwork can accomplish.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 15, 2014 at 10:28 am


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