Can a blanket help a child in need? The answer is yes. As a child, you may have had a favorite blanket. A blanket that you slept with, ate with, and played with. A best friend that was always by your side, in good times and in bad. That blanket offered you a sense of security, made you feel loved, and gave you a feeling of warmth. A child in need is no different. He or she is facing an illness, a traumatic experience, or some other life challenge and they need that comforting, safe feeling. This week we volunteered to make blankets in an effort to help fill that need.
Project Linus is a nonprofit organization that is named after the Peanuts’ character Linus van Pelt. Charlie Brown’s best friend has been attached to his blue “security” blanket since its introduction in a comic strip in the 1950s. He was so attached to his blanket that he would experience physical symptoms like dizziness when he had to give it up to launder. Next to Pigpen and his cloud of dirt, Linus has always been one of my favorite characters. Project Linus’ mission is to provide love and security to children who are in need through the gift of handmade blankets. The blankets created by volunteer “blanketeers” are donated to individuals, hospitals, and child-centered shelters and organizations. There are almost four hundred chapters across the United States that have donated over three million blankets to children in need. The Fort Wayne chapter has donated almost 20,000 homemade blankets to children in our community.
We were excited to sit down as a family to embrace our role as blanketeers. Erica and the girls have made many blankets in the past for family, friends, and children in hospitals. On all of those occasions, I was just a spectator. This week, I took an active role in making blankets. The girls and I worked together to make two no-sew, tied blankets. Kelsi cut the fleece fabric while Kenna, her friend Destiny,and I tied the ends. One blanket was winter sports themed and the other was a purple and green blanket. Erica used her Martha Stewart-like sewing skills to make three store-quality baby blankets. In all, five blankets of love were made and delivered to a Project Linus drop-off site.
This week’s volunteer experience was great. As a parent, I never like to see my children hurt. I want to them to be happy. I want them to be safe. I know that both of my girls have had that special blanket that has played an important role in their life. This week, we were able to create blankets that could play a similar role in the life of a child in our community. Project Linus will get the blankets to the children that need them most. We will never know who the final recipients are, but we want them to know that each blanket was handmade with love.
Take a minute to find the Project Linus chapter near you. Making blankets is a great way to help a child in your community!