While many are aware about Project Linus, I frequently meet quilters that are not aware of this program. Thus, I feel it is important to take time to increase awareness of Project Linus. And, I hope you’ll help increase awareness of this wonderful charity program and how quilters can help!
The Mission of Project Linus reads:
“Project Linus is comprised of hundreds of local chapters and thousands of volunteers across the United States. Each volunteer and local chapter all work together to help us achieve our mission which is to 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.”
Since Project Linus began in 1995, volunteers have helped to distribute ~3.5M blankets to children. And there are ~400 Project Linus chapters across the United States. While there is a chapter in many areas, if you do not find a chapter in your area and want to start one, Project Linus has information on how you can start a chapter.
In Southern California we have several chapters. And I was recently able to meet with Ursula, who is the lead for the San Diego Chapter. Ursula has many “Blanketeers” (aka volunteers) to help, but could always use more. Three Quilt Guilds and many individuals volunteer to make quilts that are given to Ursula, where they are labeled and packaged for distribution. Local Altrusa volunteers help in many ways,from writing thank you notes to coordinating with local organizations and agencys where quilts are delivered to children to ensure these sites have an appropriate inventory of blankets :
- Rady’s Children’s Hospital
- Rady Children’s Convalescent Hospital
- Balboa Naval hospital
- Scripps Mercy Hospital
- Scripps Mercy Clinic
- Kaiser Zion Hospital
- San Ysidro Health Clinic
- San Diego Hospice
- St. Vincent De Paul’s Village Health Care
- Ronald McDonald House
- Fisher House – N.M.C.
- Becky’s House Y.W.C.A.
- Logan Heights Family Center
- Rachel’s Women’s Center
- Rancho Jireh
- Casa De Amparo
- Camp Laurel
- Camp Good Grief
- San Diego Adoption Center
- Nile Sisters
- T.A.P.S. (Children of fallen soldiers)
- Project 150
- Little Sisters; Big Sister League of San Diego
- San Diego Family Justice Center
- San Diego Police Dept Child Abuse Unit
- San Diego County Sheriff’s Office Youth and Family Services
- California Highway Patrol
- The D.A.’s Victim/Witness Protection Prgram
- Child Help
The above organizations or agencies give these blankets to children that they care for, to provide comfort. Anyone can make a quilt. Frequently they are made by Quilt Guild members, Scouts, churches, and more. Project Linus accepts quilts in a variety of blanket sizes with desired measurements:
- Neo-Natal 24″x26″
- Baby 36″x38″
- Child 38″ x 48″
- Teen 40″x60″
Quilts can be in a variety of prints and colors, but size should be appropriate for the respective age group. For example, using Teen style prints on a Teen size quilt, and Baby style prints on a Baby size quilt is desired. Cottons, Flannels, Fleece, and Minke are all acceptable fabrics for these quilts.
When I asked Ursula to share insights on where she saw the biggest needs, this is what I learned:
- More Teen Size quilts are needed!
- Seasonal theme quilts are needed. E.G. Valentine’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween and Christmas. Themed quilts need to be received by Ursula a minimum of 2-3 weeks in Advance of the holiday.
- Balboa Hospital has also identified the need for a unique size 18″x18″ quilts for babies, ideally in flannel.
- Yarn is also appreciated. Ursula has several senior citizen volunteers who knit or crochet beautifully, but lack the budget to buy yarn.
- Volunteers are also needed to assist Ursula with applying a Project Linus tag to donated quilts, before they can be distributed for giving to a child.
If you are already helping THANK YOU! And, if Project Linus is a program that you’d like to help with please contact your local Project Linus Coordinator. For those in San Diego, you can contact: