Wrapped in Blankets of Love

Linus loves his blankeyEarlier this month, blanketeers from Southwestern chapters of Project Linus gathered for a regional conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Approximately 85 showed up to sit and sew, crochet, or knit together and share our skills with each other. It was a terrific way to exchange patterns and ideas and our love for children in a very jovial atmosphere.

Eve Buck is the coordinator of the West Valley chapter of Project Linus. She and Judie Aggie, coordinator for the Fountain Hills/Northeast Valley chapter, coordinated the regional conference.

Eve explained that she joined Project Linus in 2005 when she saw a story on a local news station. When Eve retired from being a teacher, “I decided that I needed to find something to do. I started knitting and crocheting again. I thought that I would just make some blankets and I’d be done. That was great. Then the next thing you know, I’m the assistant coordinator. And now I’m the chapter coordinator, and I’ve been doing that for the last five years.” Eve says that she has stayed involved with Project Linus for so long because, “I meet the most fantastic people. I am able to help children, which is my true passion. If I can still help children by making blankets, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Many Project Linus volunteers share similar feelings.

Jennifer Clone has been a member of Project Linus since 2001. She saw an article in the newspaper about Project Linus that motivated her to get involved. Jennifer told me, “I get a lot of emotional satisfaction from my involvement with Project Linus and the smiles that the blankets bring to children’s faces. I used to work in radiology. The blankets help soothe the children when they have to go through the processes of testing. I love being able to give them a little bit of comfort. When you add that to working with fabric and expressing your creativity, Project Linus is a perfect match for me. So here I am, after all these years.”

Vickie Colavito is a member of the Tucson chapter. She’s been a Project Linus blanketeer for eight years. Vickie used to work at Wal-Mart as a cashier. “One day a customer was checking out with a bunch of yarn. I asked her what she was doing with it, and she told me about Project Linus. I called the phone number and was invited me to a meeting. I’ve been volunteering ever since.” Vickie says that she loves Project Linus because “I know that 100% of what I contribute goes directly to children. I think that’s awesome.”

Carol became a member of Project Linus East Valley Chapter when she retired seven years ago. She had already been crocheting as a hobby and she wanted to take up quilting. Carol explains that she was part of two different crafting groups; many of the group members were involved with Project Linus. Carol jokes, “curiosity killed that cat. And here I am today . . . Even though I’m getting older, I can accomplish so much to make others happy. That’s the most important thing to me.”

Donna McGuire is from the Mesa chapter of Project Linus. She’s been with Project Linus for a long time – fifteen years to be precise. “It helps me to feel like I’m doing something worthwhile. I get a lot of satisfaction from what we do. I mostly quilt, but I also knit. It’s a lot of fun, and very rewarding.”

I think that Jody Savage, a member of the West Valley chapter of Project Linus, summed it up best when she told me that “sharing a blanket is like sharing a piece of your heart.”

You don’t have to be a quilting expert to share your love with Project Linus. Chapters gladly accept donations of fabric and yarn, as well as cash donations to help us buy supplies. Project Linus is a nonprofit organization, and all of our blanketeers are volunteers. We volunteer to serve because we want to share our love with children who are in need.

To find out how you can get involved with Project Linus Tucson, please visit our Donate or Meeting Schedule pages. If you don’t live in Tucson, you can find a chapter near you by visiting the national Project Linus website. Share your time and talent and join the blanketeer community. It’s a decision you’ll never regret.

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