crafts show

Leaving a Fingerprint-Project Linus

Did you or someone you know have a special blanket as a child? I mean the one that had to be washed on the sly so that the child wouldn't notice it had disappeared. Our granddaughter was attached to a lavender blanket with velour on one side and satin on the other. To ensure that she always felt the security of her "blankie," our daughter purchased FIVE, exactly the same!! Recently, I was working an arts and crafts show and saw  a group of ladies selling homemade quilts, pillows and  toddler mats. There was an over-sized poster of Linus (the one that carried a blanket) from Peanuts behind them, which compelled me to ask about the purpose of their fundraiser.

Anita Howe introduced me to Project Linus, a non-profit organization with chapters in all 50 states. Their mission is to provide security blankets for children in crisis. Homemade blankets made by volunteers find their homes in hospitals, shelters and child protective services. In the case of a child removed from the home and transitioned into the foster care system, the security blanket may be the child's  only personal possession.

Anita assured me if she shared her stories  of children and their "blankies" with a small group of people, she could single-handedly end a drought in a mid-sized community. She shared that one young woman who had received a blanket as a young child is currently a "blanketeer," making and donating blankets to children in need, remembering the security her blanket provided her.

My grandmother was a quilter and I have numerous  quilts that each have some significance in my life. They are all  attached to memories. I have a torn up quilt that our son used as a teenager that I won't even consider having redone because it reminds me of his adolescence.

As important as blankets have been to me, I never thought of what it might mean for a blanket to be a child's only security, his/her only possession. Kudos to Project Linus "blanketeers" for making deposits into the lives of frightened and lonely children. They are making a difference in their communities and some don't even have to leave their homes.

If you're interested in finding a chapter in your area or donating to an existing chapter, inquire at http://www.projectlinus.org/about.html