Both of my kids have a favorite blanket. I am an adult and I still enjoy a nice comfy blanket. Today’s organization makes sure that kids that have to be in the hospital can have a comfy blanket to cuddle with.
Project Linus actually has a two part mission. Their first part of their mission is to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.” The second part of their mission is to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.
A 1995 Parade Magazine article titled “Joy to the World” written by Pulitzer Prize winning photo-journalist, Eddie Adams served as an inspiration to Project Linus founder Karen Loucks. Part of the article featured a child that had been going through intensive chemotherapy. The child depended on her security blanket helped her get through the treatments. After reading the article, Karen Loucks decided to provide homemade security blankets to Denver’s Rocky Mountain Children’s Cancer Center, and Project Linus was born. The organization is named after the blanket-toting Peanuts Character “Linus” who continues to serve as their mascot.
Since they began, they have donated over 3.8 million blankets to children in crisis around the United States. They currently have 371 chapters spread around all 50 states.
In addition to regularly serving children throughout the country who are in need of the hug of a blanket for a variety of reasons such as illness, family tragedy or other life crisis, Project Linus has a disaster-relief system they are able to put into action almost immediately after a major tragedy strikes. Even though the blankets donated are primarily distributed in the local chapter areas, on occasion, when there is a tragedy of proportions that is more than a local chapter can handle, any chapter with a surplus of blankets may send blankets to the affected area as needed. They do not warehouse blankets; instead they distribute blankets directly to the arms of children in crisis very soon after the need arises. For example, within 3 weeks of Hurricane Katrina, 44,000 blankets were comforting those children displaced as a result of the hurricane. More recently, children affected by the tornadoes in Alabama and Missouri also received Project Linus blankets.
Project Linus would not be able to serve children going through a crisis or sickness without the volunteers who support our organization. Donations are provided through handmade blankets, supplies and monetary donations. You can help by finding the chapter closest to you on the Project Linus website. New, handmade washable blankets of many forms are accepted – anything from hand crocheted blankets, to handmade quilts, to no-sew fleece blankets are accepted. You can find a variety of patterns on their website. Local chapters also need other volunteers to help with anything from event coordination to delivery. You can also make a monetary donation on the national organization website or contact a local chapter to learn more about ways they need assistance.
You can learn more about Project Linus on their national website, www.projectlinus.org. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, you can contact a local chapter near you on the Chapter Listing page of the website.