How it all began!
Christmas Eve 1995, USA. An article in Parade Magazine entitled “Joy to the world” by Pulitzer Prize winner photojournalist Eddie Adams.
Part of the article features a petite downy haired child. She has been going through intensive chemotherapy and states that her security blanket has helped her get through treatments.
Karen Locks, who had just learned to crochet, decides to provide homemade security blankets to Denver’s Rocky Mountain Children’s Cancer Centre. Project Linus was Born!
Project Linus was named after the security blanket toting character from Peanuts comic strip, The late Charles Schulz, its creator, was pleased to have Linus inspire quilt makers to help sick and traumatized children.
Project Linus came to the UK in March 2000, when it was found that there were no branches on this side of the Atlantic, and continues to grow. 265,654 items to date
How Can You Help?
Make a quilt or blanket and donate it to Project Linus UK. All quilts and blankets should be handmade and washable.
Donate supplies such as cotton fabric, threads, wadding, fleece, baby wool or office supplies which help us to keep running smoothly.
Any fabric and wool can be passed on to volunteers who may not have material of their own that they can use,
Project Linus UK is a 100% voluntary, non-profit making organisation, so we rely on such donations.
Spread the word! If you have a group who would like to hear more, or you would like easy designs for both knitting and stitching, contact me for details. We have a few copyright-free designs we can photocopy. If you want to donate yarn or fabric, and aren’t sure what we can use, then gift vouchers for Fabric/ Wool shops would be very welcome.
Feel free to pass on my details.
Another way to provide support is if you shop online. To go through http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk It is pretty straight forward. Just go through this site when shopping and it donates to our cause at no cost to you or us. Wide range of retailers available. More information available by request. Here! http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/projectlinusayrshire
What Kind of Blanket?
Project Linus welcomes all NEW handmade quilts and blankets. Whether you knit, crochet, quilt, hand sew or machine sew – we welcome your donation. The most important thing is that it must be washable!
Quilts and blankets can range in size from 24” x 24” For premature babies to 40” x 60” for a bigger child, or even bigger for today’s taller teenagers!
There are no hard and fast rules about size – but even for premature babies’ blankets and quilts should be at least 24” x 24”. Please consider using bright unisex colours for boys and girls!
What kind of Yarn / Fabric?
For quilts: new cottons, polly-cotton, fleece and flannel are all excellent. Wool is not recommended, as it does not wash well. For the wadding, thin polyester or flannel are good, or try not using a wadding and back with fleece instead! This comes out great and is very snuggly.
For knitted blankets: please use 4 – ply or baby double knit wool.
Patterns are available on request.
What should I do?
We ask that knitted and crochet blankets be of a tight pattern rather than lacy, as small fingers and medical equipment might get caught in the holes. Also, no embellishments such as buttons which can come off and could be swallowed.
We must insist on NEW quilts and blankets, as many of the items end up in hospitals. Please do not recycle old yarns or fabrics, no matter how well you think they have been washed. As most of the quilts are for comfort not warmth, use thin wadding, not a thick one.
What Happens Next?
Once we receive your quilt or blanket, it is checked, and prepared for delivery. A Project Linus label is sewn onto every quilt or blanket before its given to a child and it is then his or hers for keeps.
Deliveries are made according to how many we have received and where are they are needed. Occasionally we have requests for blankets for individual children who may be seriously ill, disabled or otherwise in need and being cared for at home.
Project Linus has broadened its focus towards seriously ill and traumatised children – children in need of a big hug. We also do not exclude children in the family of a sick brother or sister – terminal illness is traumatic for the healthy children as well, so where we can, we will ensure they get the “comfort” they need.
(In this area we deliver monthly to Crosshouse Hospital Children’s wards 1A & 1B and the Neonatal unit. And various other places where possible.)
*Our volunteers deliver about 2,000 quilts and blankets to sick, disabled or disadvantaged children across the UK each month. We cannot reach out to every distressed child but we can help to provide them with tangible evidence that someone cares, along with the physical reassurance that comes with being snuggled up in a quilt. We always try to deliver quilts and blankets to children who are local to the makers.