Photo Credit: Heather Coit

Story originally published by The News-Gazette.

A group of nearly 30 middle school students took a break from technology to do something great for other children in need.

For the second year in a row, Urbana Middle School students in Urbana, Illinois, have combined their creativity to make a quilt for the Cunningham Children's Home's Festival of Quilts auction. The students were tasked with designing, drawing, and coloring their own squares, which would later be constructed into a quilt. The theme for their artwork was the sun, and the rest was left up to the students' imagination.

"I really like to draw," eighth-grader Kenan Mandawe told The News-Gazette, "so to be able to do that and be creative, while giving something back to the community at the same time, that was really great."

The Quilt Festival is a special event for the children's home because it is a showcase of how the community came together for children who already have very little.

"The Festival of Quilts has been a tradition for us," director of advancement for Cunningham Sharla Jolly said. "Quilts were given to kids when they came here because they didn't have anything, and it gave them a sense of safety and ownership because they could wrap up in a quilt. To see these other youth helping us carry out that tradition is wonderful."

The project was funded by a $1,000 grant from the Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation, allowing the students to create their best work for a child in need. Eighth-grader Joseph Tull longs to do more community service projects like this in school because not only does it bond the students with each other, but it shows them how giving back can impact another person's life.

"It makes me feel good to give this to a kid that is lonely and to help them know that somebody is there that loves them and wants to give them an awesome quilt."