Charitable Quilting - Project Linus
Hi there! It is time for our second installment in the Charitable Quilting Series.
Thanksgiving was last week here in The States and, once again, the holiday season has inspired me. I have so much to be grateful for at all times of the year, and one of the things that tops my list is the health and safety of my children.
For that reason, organizations which care for children are near and dear to my heart. This one, Project Linus, focuses on children who are in the hospital, in shelters, or in the care of social service agencies. As a mother, their mission speaks to me:
“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.’”
QM Family had a NICU baby in Spring 2013
In the spirit of their mission, Project Linus has donated over 7 million blankets since 1995. Yes, you read that right - seven million!!!
7 million young people have been touched by the kindness of strangers who have a gift to give, just like you and I. A number that big is hard to fathom. Especially when you consider what receiving a quilt like that would mean to just one child - it could be a life-changing gift!
Multiply that by 10, and that's more love than I can imagine. Multiply it by 7 million, and I truly can't understand it. That's so much care and joy spread around to so many precious children. Wow!
Don’t be intimidated by how big this organization is, however. Your donation and love will not be lost in the vastness of the 7 million blankets. To the child who receives it, it's not one in 7 million, it's theirs.
Here’s a quick reference guide for how to contribute to Project Linus and give a quilted hug to a child in need.
Find a Local Chapter
Although Project Linus is a national organization, the sense of community and connection is really fostered through the Chapter system they use. You can connect locally with a chapter in your area to get involved.
There are chapters in all 50 states, plus Washington DC. You can click here to go to their Chapters page, and then click on your state to find the chapter closest to you. You’ll see which chapters have a blanket drop-off site, and you can check out local chapter events, too!
MABD - Make a Blanket Day
One such event is MABD, or Make a Blanket Day. This isn’t specific to any local chapter - it is a national event, taking place on the 3rd Saturday in February each year. This special day has been taking place for nearly 20 years, and was inspired by the Columbine High School shooting. Blankets were made and donated very quickly for students who were affected by that tragedy.
You can find more information about the MABD movement here.
Create a Quilt
You don’t have to wait for MABD to contribute a quilt to Project Linus. Children are in need every day, all year long. The guidelines for quilts are pretty flexible - they must be new, handmade, and washable. They’re intended for children 0-18 years old, so size is very open-ended. They also ask that there not be any pet hair, as hospitals will often reject blankets which have fur on them.
Project Linus has patterns on their website, which you can use for inspiration. But it is not required that you use a pattern from their list.
Another QM Baby enjoying their quilt!
Monetary donations are also very meaningful to an organization such as Project Linus. They have several different ways you can donate, and you can find information to do so here.
Without the generosity of people like you in the quilting community, Project Linus wouldn’t be able to continue.
It is a special, wonderful thing to wrap a child in your love. Especially one who needs a bit extra for one reason or another. With Thanksgiving still on my mind, I am thankful for Project Linus this year, and for the beautiful way they show children that they are loved.
- Carolyn Knees