(6/25/12) - A local chapter of Project Linus started when a group of women from Calabash and Little River joined together for one common cause – to make comfort blankets for children in Horry County. Since their beginning in 2006, the Heather Lakes division of Project Linus has made 1,910 blankets and is striving to reach 2,000 by the end of 2012.
The group recently made a very generous donation of handmade blankets to McLeod Loris Seacoast for newborn and pediatric patients. According to group spokesperson, Joan Holland, the Heather Lakes group has plans for regular donations of blankets to McLeod Loris and McLeod Seacoast.
“We simply want to help children and there is a big need in Horry County, “Holland said. “We know the blankets are appreciated and bring comfort to many children.”
The Heather Lakes group consists of 12 to 15 members who average making 25-30 blankets each month at an average of 10 hours per blanket. Although they enjoy getting together to share ideas and admire each other’s work, most of them work on their blankets independently.
“We have a God given talent and being a part of Project Linus we can use it,” Holland added. “We feel we have been blessed with healthy children and we want to give back to other children who may be sick or in need. Plus, it is a lot of fun. We want to be active and this is a very rewarding way to keep our hands busy.”
Project Linus was started in Colorado in 1995 by Karen Loucks after she learned a security blanket helped a young girl through intensive chemotherapy treatments. Having just learned to crochet, she decided to put her new skill to good use. Since then, Project Linus volunteers have made over 2 million homemade blankets and there are more than 400 chapters nationally.
The volunteer organization was named after the blanket-toting character from the Peanuts comic strip. After becoming aware of the efforts of the organization, Peanuts creator Charles Shultz was delighted to learn that his character Linus inspired blanket makers to help comfort children who are ill.
“People work all their lives as part of a team to accomplish something but do not always get to see the end result,” Holland said. “We actually get to see the finished product. It is a great feeling to look at that blanket and know that it will make a difference to a child. We make a difference.”