Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Blanketed in Comfort, Caring Project Linus Helps Children in Area

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Blanketed in Comfort, Caring Project Linus Helps Children in Area

Article excerpt

When Eileen Hayes lost her job in 2002, a friend suggested that to lift her spirits, she should make blankets with the local chapter of Project Linus.

Today, the Bethel Park woman is still part of the group that meets twice a month at Christ United Methodist Church in Bethel Park to create and share ideas for new, homemade, washable blankets and afghans for ill and needy children.

"The greatest pleasure is hearing from a parent that a blanket brought a smile to their face as it helped comfort their sick child," said Mrs. Hayes, whose specialties are fleecing and crocheting. "It makes me realize my problems can't compare."

Since its founding in 2002, the chapter has created and distributed 20,210 blankets to West Penn Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, its burn center, The Children's Home, St. Clair Hospital and other local caregivers.

Blankets are also given to the Baldwin, Mt. Lebanon and Peters emergency medical services for children in auto accidents or other emergencies to wrap around themselves while being carried to police cars.

Last week, 30 blankets were sent with a medical team to Haiti.

The national, nonprofit Project Linus, headquartered in Bloomington, Ill.,is named for Charlie Brown's blanket-toting friend in the Peanuts comic strip.

With chapters in every state, it has a mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need.

Project Linus is also designed to provide an opportunity for crafters to use their talents and interests in a rewarding way.

All blanket styles are welcome, including quilts, comforters, fleece blankets, crocheted or knitted afghans and receiving blankets.

Blankets, the majority of which are about 40-by-60 inches, must be homemade, washable, free of pins and come from smoke-free environments due to allergy concerns. …

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