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Project Linus Blankets the Country posted: 2/9/2005
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Category: General Method: All Series: In The News
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Reprinted with permission of Janome America Domestic Sewing Center, Warren, Ohio

Project Linus Blankets The Country

By Heather Chrudimsky
For The News-Chronicle

Published February 8, 2005
Reprinted with permission from The Green Bay News Chronicle

Linus from the Charlie Brown comics and cartoons has always been known for carrying around his blanket, and it is obvious that Linus draws much comfort from his blanket. The same is true for many children. That is where Project Linus comes in.

Project Linus is a 100 percent volunteer, nonprofit organization with chapters in all 50 states. The program makes handmade blankets and quilts and distributes them to children of all ages in hospitals, shelters and social service agencies.

"I believe that Project Linus is a wonderful organization that even though it has grown, it still remembers that they are working for the children," said Jill Draves, Project Linus coordinator, Green Bay Chapter.

Project Linus started out with one person knitting a blanket for a child with cancer. Now it has become a nationwide organization with chapters in every state.

Reprinted with permission Janome America
Domestic Sewing Center, Warren, Ohio

"I am extremely pleased by the outpouring of support Project Linus has enjoyed," said Carol Babbitt, Project Linus national president. "The comfort brought to a child by a Project Linus security blanket should not be underestimated. Thanks to our many blanketeers and our chapter coordinators, millions of children and their families have been given comfort and security at a time when they need it most. In addition, blanketeers are given an opportunity to use their talents and abilities in a most rewarding way."

The national effort for blankets began on Christmas Eve in 1995, after an article entitled "Joy to the World," was printed in Parade Magazine. The article told the story of a child going through chemotherapy and how her security blanket helped her get through the treatments. The story sparked the idea and the first chapter was shortly after in Denver Colo. Today, there are more than 300 chapters nationwide.

The local Project Linus chapter was established in 1999. Since then, almost 3,000 blankets have been collected and distributed to local hospitals and shelters.

Reprinted with permission from Janome America
Project Linus Day at Janome America New Jersey
"All the blankets collected have been made by volunteers who enjoy making blankets and appreciate the means to be able to have their blankets benefits children that are in crisis," Draves said.

Draves become a dealer for Janome, which makes sewing equipment, in 2003. Janome American and Project Linus partnered to help increase awareness of Project Linus. Draves took over the Green Bay chapter last August from original coordinator, Mary Lynn Adams.

Reprinted with permission Janome America
Rivergate Sewing, TN
All the blankets are handmade and machine washable. They can be quilts, crochet, knit or fleece and have to be at least 36 inches by 36 inches. Blanket donations are accepted year round. But each year in February, a special day is set aside to publicize Project Linus. This year's Make A Blanket Day is Feb. 19.

Throughout the year, Draves travels to a variety of different locations making blanket deliveries. She said the number of blankets delivered to each location depends on the amount of storage they have.

Reprinted with permission Janome America
Heber Sew N Vac Arkansas

From now until Feb. 28, blanketeers will be entered into a contest to win a Janome sewing machine for each blanket the make and donate. The drawing will take place on March 1.

"When children are in stressful situations, they need to have something that they can call their own," Draves said. "With a blanket they can hug it, cuddle up with it or, if needed, hide under it. The stories that I have heard from the kids who receive them are heartbreaking, yet the blanket had given them some happiness in an otherwise unhappy situation."

Reprinted with permission Janome America
Bunnys Sew Fine Fabrics, Ohio

The Green Bay News-Chronicle
P.O. Box 2467
133 S. Monroe St.
Green Bay WI 54306
Phone: 920-432-2941

2005 Heather Chrudimsky and the Green Bay News Chronicle
Reprinted with permission

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