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KNITTANY NEEDLEWORKERS

2/17/2006 —

Students at Penn State Brandywine made "huggie pillows" for the patients in the Cardiac Unit at Chester County Hospital on February 6.

The project, part of the campus' service initiative program, was supervised by Professor Laura Guertin and John Palka, a returning adult student at the campus who received his associate's degree in 1979 and is now studying for his bachelor's degree.  John is a former cardiac patient himself, and showed the students what patients do with the pillows for breathing exercises during recovery from heart surgery.

The pillows are heart-shaped and were sewn them from scratch with bright, fun colors

Blankets on Fire  Blanket Drive held February 16

In conjunction with a newly-created minor in Civic and Community Engagement, volunteers at Penn State Brandywine held a very special blanket drive on February 16.

"Blankets on Fire" was a project of the Knittany Lion Needleworks group, which makes blankets as part of Project Linus, a national volunteer organization whose mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, homemade, washable blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer "blanketeers."

"The date was chosen for our blanket drive as it corresponds closely with National Blanket Day on February 18," said Laura Guertin of Media, assistant professor of Earth and mineral science at Penn State Brandywine, who organized the group.

The Delco campus "needleworkers" are made up of dedicated faculty, staff, and students. To date, the group has made and collected several hundred blankets that have been donated to Project Linus.

According to Guertin, the theme "Blankets on Fire," is a tribute to the hard work of firefighters. "We also displayed the 25 or so blankets that the ladies at Granite Farms Estates have been working on for the past few months," she said. Over 30 students, faculty, and staff made 22 blankets during the hour-long program. Combined with other blankets that were made by other groups and turned in that day, the Needleworkers produced 93 blankets that day.

For more information about the Knittany Lion Needleworks group, Project Linus at Penn State Brandywine, or how to get involved, call group coordinator Diane Shorter at 610-892-1279.

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