Project Linus is a non-profit organization with a two-fold mission. First, to provide love, and a sense of security, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteers known as “blanketeers.” The second part of the mission is to provide a rewarding and fun service project for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.
Since the Louisville Chapter was formed in 2013, 8201 handmade blankets have been donated to various hospitals and organizations in our community. A comparison year to date from 2018 to 2019 shows an increase of 62% in donations (1548 YTD 2019). This increase is attributed to the rise in volunteer quilters and crocheters. First Christian Church was pleased to provide a Wholeness Grant to fund the purchase of material, backing, batting, and other blanket making materials for use by the many guilds who sew for Project Linus. Blankets are distributed to agencies including Norton Children’s Hospitals, the Build a Bed initiative, Jefferson County Public Schools, the Child Advocacy Center, and Project Safe Place.
In Louisville, the most populous and urban city in Kentucky, the need is vast. According to a 2019 report from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Kentucky had the highest rate of child abuse in the country in 2017 - more than 22 out of every 1000 children in Kentucky was a victim of child abuse or neglect, about 2.5 times the national rate. The likelihood of abuse is higher the younger a child is. Project Linus Blanketeers hope that these handmade blankets can bring a child in a whirlwind of trauma and chaos some small comfort, a “lovey” to hold tight to.
In the 2017-2018 school year, Jefferson County Public Schools served 4575 homeless students and over 2000 students in foster care. When children too young to enter school are also considered, those numbers are even larger. According to the Build a Bed organization in Louisville, over 10,000 children become homeless every year. When families find secure housing, many of them start from scratch and most children in those families have no bed, let alone a blanket, to call their own. The Louisville Project Linus chapter partnered with Build a Bed Louisville this year.
Besides, providing comfort and love, in the form of blankets, to children in need, Project Linus provides many blanketeers the opportunity to utilize their God-given blessings and talents to serve a worthwhile organization that helps so many vulnerable families. Their passion and commitment are evident in the increase in donations.
The wholeness grant used to fund this ministry was made possible through your faithful financial support of our church and its ministries and help fund a variety of efforts to make our world a better place.
You can find more examples of those efforts or apply for a grant to make the world a better place by clicking here.