How I got started with Project Linus: A Personal Story...
In April of 2010 my 12 year old son and I left in haste a volatile home of abuse. We left all our belongings behind and went to a crisis shelter where we stayed for two weeks.
Before we left the province we were permitted one hour to retrieve a few personal things from our home. I focused on my son’s items. We could only take what fit in the trunk of a taxicab. Which was not much at all.
At the Shelter my son was given a beautiful handmade blanket. He was allowed to take it with him when we left. At the time we really didn’t pay much attention to the details behind the purpose of the blanket or where it came from.
When we arrived in Alberta, We began to pick up the pieces of our life and start anew.
Social Services gave us $1000 to build our home again. We went thrift store and garage sale shopping and were able to furnish our new apartment.
Only then did we notice the tag on the blanket my son was given. It said,” Made with tender loving care for Project Linus.” The little Linus character from the Peanuts cartoon was on the tag as well holding his security blanket. I had never heard of the organization before. My friend gave me a computer when she upgraded hers and I looked online to see what “Project Linus” was all about.
I wanted to give back to the organization what it had done for us. So I rallied a few friends, we collected fabric and I began to sew. I was the only one of my friends that knew how to run a sewing machine. “smirks”
After completing close to 15 blankets I contacted our local chapter of “Project Linus.”
Unfortunately the chapter did not get off the ground here. This broke my heart. I could not imagine the local children in crisis not having that sense of security my son had with just that little item.
You see when you have nothing, a blanket is more that just an item, especially to a child. It’s the one thing that is theirs to keep forever. A piece of security they can wrap themselves in, hide under when they are afraid and hold tightly when they hurt. To some this may sound silly, but until you are left with nothing do you realize how one item can change a child’s life.
The blankets were taken to our local crisis shelter. I explained about Project Linus and at that moment decided to take on the responsibility of Chapter Coordinator for the Red Deer area.
A simple hand made blanket started this for us. We have it hanging on our wall now to remember where we came from and how we started our new life. Just think what a small piece of time and love could do for other children in crisis.