Anecdotally and scientifically, the attachment of children to comfort or security objects provides an advantage in coping and adjustment skills. Or as Linus from Charles Shultz’s Peanuts says: “Happiness is a warm blanket.”
Inspired by bringing a sense of security to children and teens undergoing times of crisis, trauma, and illness, volunteers in Bedford and throughout the country have been participating with the national nonprofit Project Linus to provide handmade blankets to children and teens in hospitals, social service agencies, shelters, and individuals for decades.
Around Bedford, Project Linus blankets have been donated in town through Neighbor Brigade to the children and babies housed in the Boston Plaza Hotel, through the NICU and child life specialists at Emerson Hospital, through Boston Children’s Hospital, and other service organizations that emotional, medical and needs-based support to children and families in Bedford and the surrounding area.
Mass General Hospital and area homeless and social service agencies in the Greater Boston Area have recently requested well over 600 Project Linus blankets to be distributed to children in the next two months, in addition to regular donations. The Greater Boston Area Project Linus is seeking groups and individuals looking to send a symbol of security, warmth, and comfort by donating new high-quality handmade blankets towards this effort.
The Greater Boston area chapter of Project Linus has delivered nearly 95,000 blankets to children in the Greater Boston area since 2001. While the primary mission of Project Linus is to provide a token of warmth and security to children who may need it, the other aspect of the organization is creating a meaningful service opportunity for individuals and groups.
Project Linus blankets are handmade and donated by volunteer “blanketeers,” including individuals, crafting groups, schools, sports teams, cultural and religious groups, and service organizations. Volunteers range in age from elementary school scout groups fringing fleece throws to Council on Aging members knitting afghans. The blankets, ranging in size from baby blankets to twin-size bed sizes, are knit, crocheted, sewn, quilted, and created through a handful of different no-sew fleece patterns. Project Linus chapter coordinators collect donated blankets, check over, clean, label, and deliver blankets to organizations that will provide the blankets to kids in need.
As the weather gets colder and fall and winter holidays approach, many homeless shelters try to provide each child with something warm to lie down on, hospitals see children away from families and classmates while undergoing surgery, illness and cancer treatments, and other struggles may be brought to the forefront leaving children in situations that “a hug” in the form of a blanket made with love may provide.
Greater Boston Area Project Linus is looking for new, clean, hand-made, high-quality blankets. The blankets should be gift quality in size, material, and construction – free of stains, pet hair, and perfumes, able to lie flat (tied fleece blankets should not be knotted too tight, and hand-tied quilts should be tied at small intervals), and the selvage cut off fleece prior to construction.
Anyone interested in information on creating blankets can find instructions on the group’s website at bostonprojectlinus.org or https://www.facebook.com/bostonprojectlinus or by emailing [email protected].
Completed blankets can be dropped off at JoAnn Fabrics in Burlington or by emailing Jenny at [email protected] for a Bedford drop-off or pickup.