by Mimi Montgomery
Loveable Linus van Pelt of The Peanuts is never without his security blanket – multi-purposed and well-worn, it’s a reminder of comfort, home, and warmth. Project Linus aims to provide those same feelings with its own blankets, which are handmade by volunteers and distributed to seriously ill, traumatized, or in-need children.
The Missouri-based nonprofit has chapters in all 50 states; the Wake County chapter has donated over 36,000 blankets since its inception in 1996 alone. “The child who receives the blanket will know that someone in their community cares about them, cares enough to make them that blanket and give it to them, just to help them through a difficult time,” says Susie Holmes, chapter coordinator and founder.
Volunteer-made blankets go to children at WakeMed Hospitals, Rex Hospital, Duke Hospital, InterAct, the Make a Wish Foundation, and the Raleigh Rescue Mission, among others. Recently, the group branched out of the Triangle, sending blankets to victims of the West Virginia flooding.
You can pitch in by donating materials or a financial contribution, or by making a blanket of your own (all blankets must be new, handmade, and clean). Local blanket-making groups include the Cary Blanketeers, who meet the second and fourth Wednesday of the month in Cary, and the Greystone Blanketeers, who meet the fourth Tuesday of each month. The chapter also has an annual Make a Blanket Day; it’ll be hosted Feb. 18, 2017 at Temple Beth Or.
Each contribution is a small task when compared to its great impact – a child’s happiness. Linus would be proud.