WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WGGB)– Linus van Pelt is probably one of the most endearing Peanuts characters, always carrying his signature blue security blanket. Today in Wilbraham, teens gathered at the public library to create blankets for an organization that Linus himself inspired.
Project Linus is a national organization who’s mission is to create handmade blankets that can serve to comfort children in a time of need.
For Sue Kent, Teen Librarian at Wilbraham Public Library, it’s a great way to help teens give back to the community. For her it’s an easy project to put on and benefits a great cause. After the teens finish creating their blankets today they will be delivered to the Springfield Chapter Coordinator who will complete the Project Linus mission.
“She distributes them to area hospitals, shelters and to any kids who have been ill or traumatized,” said Kent.
Project Linus receives thousands of letters and thank you notes from children every year. Over and over they express how touched they are that a stranger would take the time to make something for them. And while purchased blankets are nice and definitely appreciated, there’s something about a handmade blanket that really comes from the heart. According to Kent, the event today will create several blankets to be distributed to children in need.
“We’ll probably make twenty to thirty blankets today. Four million of them have been distributed since the program started in 1995, so it’s nice to be a part of that,” said Kent.
Since the Springfield Chapter of Project Linus was launched in 2001, over 4,000 blankets have been distributed mostly to Baystate Medical Center and Shriner’s Hospital. And it seems that the teens creating these blankets get just as much out of it as the children who will be comforted by them.
For volunteer Diane Gerberich, Project Linus is one of her favorite ways to give back.
“It’s a way for me to give back to the community. I love volunteering and I love helping in any way that I can. I do many projects throughout town and this is one of my favorites. I get to come out with some friends and make blankets for younger kids that really need them,” Gerberich said.
If you’re interested in finding out how you can contribute to Project Linus, you can visit their website. There you can contact our local chapter coordinator about events and find patterns for blankets you can make at home.