I came across an article in a magazine listing several options for families that want to do something charitable together, and in the article I learned about Project Linus. This is an organization that accepts and donates newly made blankets to children and youth hospital units. Since 1998 over 4,463,213 blankets have been collected and delivered.
If you want to know more about Project Linus, you can read more on the website here. On the website there are 20+ quilt patterns available to use, and if you are more inclined to knit or crochet, those blankets will be gladly received also.
Unfortunately, I do not quilt, knit, or crochet, so I was glad to find directions on their website for a "no sew" fleece blanket. Made out of 1 1/2 yards of soft fleece material, these blankets only require some measuring, cutting, and knotting.
After a fun shopping outing in which I selected five different fleece materials and a brand spanking new sewing scissors for myself, I got to work on the first blanket.
Here is the first step with corners cut out and fringes measured and cut:
Tiny slits are cut into each fringe and then a knot is pulled through, like this:
And here is the finished blanket. I love imagining a brand new baby swaddled up in this snuggly cover:
The Project Linus people will check them for pins, pet hair, allergens, or cigarette smell. If the blanket is free from all of those disqualifiers, they will affix a Project Linus label to the blanket and deliver the finished ones to local hospitals that accept them.
It was easy for me to locate my local chapter and drop-off information on the Project Linus website.
Here are my finished blankets so far. I still have one more to make. As you can see, I have selected fabrics appropriate for boys and girls.
I'm excited to make my contribution. I feel good about working on this project. Just reading the Project Linus website and seeing phrases like these made me want to get busy:
"blankets handmade with love"
"providing security through blankets"
"become a blanketeer"
"give the gift of love this year"
"spreading blanket hugs nationwide"
Daughter Sarah also has an ongoing project this holiday season. As she and her husband are currently financially tight, they decided to donate knitted baby hats to hospitals in lieu of giving traditional gifts. She has the yarn already, and she enjoys knitting, so it seems like a great idea. She will donate the hats to the baby ward of the hospital where each gift "recipient" was born.
Here she is working on one of the hats:
And here are several of the completed baby hats. If you are inclined to do a similar project, please check first with your local hospitals to determine if they will accept your hats.
Well hopefully some little babies will stay warm this winter with these donations. I'd be glad to hear of any volunteer / gifting projects in which you have participated recently.