Saturday, February 1, 2014

Project Linus blog post by Carol Rose:

I've had two lives in crochet.  The first life lasted about three years and my crochet paraphernalia sat in the closet for about five years.  I eventually gave away everything.  Crochet came back into my life almost six years ago when I needed to occupy myself while being a passenger on a long car ride.  As I was completing that project my colleague at work, Theresa Gelzinis, asked me what my next crochet project would be.  She asked me if I had ever heard about Project Linus, and the answer was no.  She told me about this wonderful charity and encouraged me to make something for them.  She told me that she could give any blanket that I made to Lyn Billock who would then pass it along to them. 

No more than 10 minutes later I walked into my office and the phone was ringing.  It was my daughter-in-law calling to tell me that she had just learned the source of the blanket that our youngest grandson, who was born prematurely, had received at West Penn Hospital in the Newborn ICU.  As you can guess, it was a Project Linus Blanket.  She was aware that I had taken up crochet and asked if I could help pay it forward by making a blanket for this wonderful charity.  The rest is history.

 Lynn Billock lived near the home of the local Linus coordinator and thus was the TRC connection for many years.  Several years ago the coordinator position changed; the new coordinator lives close to me.  Subsequently the local Linus Chapter was given the great and generous gift of a suite of rooms at Caste Village Shopping Center in Castle Shannon.  I've had the pleasure of attending several of the Show and Tell evenings at this wonderful location.  There are numerous local volunteers who go there regularly for hundreds of hours annually.  Many of the blankets are quilted and there are tables for cutting the fabric and sewing machines for constructing them.  There are hundreds of feet of shelving for sorting and storing blankets and arranging them for delivery to many locations.  The volunteers not only make the blankets, but organize them, and deliver them.  Last year more than 10,000 blankets were distributed by this local chapter.

 I encourage you to check out the web site for the local chapter:

The following video features Barbara Sappie who was the original chapter coordinator.  Look in the background of the video interviews to get a peek at the Project Linus rooms at Caste Village:

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