For anyone who grew up a Charlie Brown fan, Linus is a familiar name. People know him as the kid who always carried around a blanket with him. One group has taken that name and turned it into an nonprofit organization.
Project Linus is a national group with two missions. The first is to provide warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill or traumatized by giving them blankets and afghans.
The other mission is to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for individuals and groups in local communities. One of those communities, the Yolo County branch, had its monthly event this past Wednesday.
Diane Mcgee is the chapter coordinator and founder of the Yolo chapter of Project Linus. A few years ago she read a book which included a story about a child who benefited from Project Linus. The author of the book spoke at the Sacramento chapter of the organization which led her to get involved.
In September 2008, a group began to meet in Yolo County as a Sacramento branch of the organization and in September 2010 it became its own branch.
The local chapter now meets once a month to sew together and give its blankets and afghans to various organizations throughout Yolo County.
Sue Lomax works for Communicare Health Center, which is one of the local organizations that receives blankets from Project Linus. They help take care of children who are in foster care and she said she knows the group has a positive impact on children.
“It’s the difference between feeling love and nurtured and not,” Lomax said. “Without [Project Linus], it would leave a big hole for these children.
Kay Cunningham serves as the secretary of the chapter and has been involved for a year and a half. A retired teacher, she realizes it is not that different.
“It is sort of like being a teacher,” she said. “The kids give you a lot back.”
Brooke Brandow got involved in a more personal way. Her daughter was in a ski accident and while in the hospital, received a blanket from Project Linus. She said she also feels good making blankets for needy children.
“I like to make things to make people happy,” she said. “A lot of children even in Yolo County have never had anything handmade.”
There are around 20 organizations that the local chapter donates blankets to, all but one being in Yolo County. They also give to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital where Mcgee’s daughter works.
Mcgee realizes that this is not only a great way to help needy children but also local women.
“They have made so many blankets and afghans for their family,” she said. “This gives them an opportunity to take them and give them to [needy] children.”
Cunningham feels blessed to be a part of the group as well.
“[The group] has meant a lot to me,” she said. “It is energizing to have all these women working together.”
Project Linus meets once a month at the Davis Senior Center on A street. They welcome anyone who wants to come help sew blankets and afghans or just donate old ones.
ZANDER WOLD can be reached at email@example.com.