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Volunteers Make Blankets for Children in Need

image of students making blankets
1/19/2011 —

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, nearly 40 volunteers joined to bring warmth and hope to those in need through blanket making at Penn State Brandywine.

Students from the Rocky Run, Main Line and Ambler YMCAs joined the campus community to create 36 blankets for Project Linus, a volunteer organization that donates handmade blankets and afghans to “provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need,” according to projectlinus.org.

The project formed in support of an initiative created by the campus’ Knittany Lion Needleworks volunteers, who hope to donate 100 blankets to Project Linus this spring for National Blanket Day. Ronika Money, assistant director of student affairs, said she thought the MLK Day project would help the volunteers, dubbed “blanketeers” by Project Linus, reach their goal more quickly.

To make the blankets, volunteers, ranging in age from elementary schoolers to adults, spent three-and-a-half hours cutting slits into precut pieces of fabric, then knotted them and sewed on labels that read “Project Linus. Providing security through blankets.” They will eventually reach the hands of children in places such as hospitals and shelters.

Knittany Lion Needleworks, coordinated by Associate Professor of Earth Sciences Laura Guertin and Student Affairs Specialist Diane Shorter, is a registered chapter of Project Linus.

On the outstanding turnout of 23 children from the YMCA, Money said, “Our project was most accommodating to kids of all ages--elementary to middle school kids. It’s a project that would work well with a younger age group.” And she said the young “achievers” had a good time.

Not only that, the experience allowed the children an opportunity to spend time on a college campus, an important gesture as the YMCA strives to encourage its youngsters to someday pursue a degree. This experience will “plant the seed for them to be interested in attending college,” Money said. They even chatted up some of the Brandywine students in attendance with questions about the college experience.

Parents from the Main Line YMCA are already pursuing tours of the campus and the group leader “may be interested in working with Knittany Lion Needleworks in the future. Each of the YMCAs expressed an interest in continued opportunities with the campus. So a few potential partnerships came out of the project,” Money added.


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