You likely already know that knitting is good for both your body and soul. Research shows, in fact, that knitting can reduce depression and anxiety. It can also help reduce chronic pain and risk of dementia later in life. But what you may not realize is that knitting can also be a wonderful way to spread warmth and goodness in the world.
Karen Loucks created Project Linus, a non-profit organization founded in 1995. Loucks had one simple goal in mind — to provide babies and children with handmade blankets in order to offer them comfort during difficult times in their lives.
The organization has now grown into a national charity with chapters in every state across the country. “Blanketeers,” as they’re called by Project Linus, make blankets either by crocheting, knitting or quilting.
These blankets are then donated to children in hospitals and shelters and via social service agencies that make sure the blankets make their way to children who might be dealing with a great deal of fear and pain.
You might be wondering what a simple blanket can do for a child in need. The name of the organization says it all. Just as Linus is always clutching his blanket in the Peanuts series, these handmade blankets serve as a form of comfort and security for these sweet little ones.
As those who work with Project Linus can attest, the blankets serve as something that the babies can hang on to when they feel scared or hurt or alone. It’s a testament to the fact that someone out there cares about them, even if they can’t see them or feel them right now.
“We have learned about the power of the blanket,” Lois Misko, head of the Whitehall, Pennsylvania, chapter of Project Linus, told the Pennsylvania Post-Gazette. “It takes the focus off the bad things that are happening. It is almost a little bit of magic.”
Misko says that nurses have told her, “We love your blankets. We hand children a blanket and we get a big smile from them. Sometimes it’s the only time we get a smile from them.”
If you want to support Project Linus and their heartwarming work, you can donate money here or you can become a “Blanketeer” yourself and handmake blankets for these deserving babies and children.
To do so, find a pattern here on their web site and then go here to find a local chapter where you can donate your finished blanket.