Since 1995, Project Linus has been distributing handmade blankets to needy children all over the United States. Learn how you can be a part of their story
The story of Project Linus begins with the story of a 3-year-old girl named Laura.
Laura was fighting cancer and took her precious blankie with her everywhere. Parade Magazine featured her story in an article entitled “Joy to the World.”
A Colorado woman named Karen Loucks (now Karen Loucks Rinedollar) read her touching tale and felt inspired. She began taking handmade security blanket to the local children’s cancer treatment center.
I imagine that little did she know how her act of giving would grow into an enormous nonprofit organization!
If you’d like to learn more about Project Linus’ beginnings, you can read Karen’s book called Working for Peanuts: the Project Linus Story. (This is an affiliate link – if you make a purchase after clicking, I may receive a small commission. Thanks for helping support Knitting for Charity!)
Project Linus: One of America’s Oldest Knitting Charities
This amazing charity was one of the first ones we featured on this website. Project Linus made its debut at Knitting for Charity in 2007, and it has been in operation since 1995.
We introduced it this way: “Why more than 1,347,720 baby blankets have been knitted for Project Linus.”
Today, a quick check on the charity’s website shows that over the past 12 years, that number has been multiplied over 5 times. They have now donated over 7 million blankets!
It’s pretty incredible to consider how far Project Linus has come. As of 2015, nearly 400 chapters covered every one of the 50 states of America. (This number has probably only grown since then!) It remains devoted to a goal to “provide love, a sense of security, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need of through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans.”
It also has a remarkable number of corporate sponsors who help fulfill their mission. Many of these are craft-related, like AC Moore, Caron Yarn, Coats and Clark, Creative Knitting Magazine, Joann Fabric and Crafts, and Superior Threads; but many more are not, like AT&T Foundation, Kohl’s, Office Depot, Sara Lee, and Starbucks. You can find a complete list here.
What Project Linus Does
One of the biggest problems charity knitters face is how to get their creations to people who need them.
Project Linus makes this as easy as possible. Their volunteers, or “blanketeers,” offer their creations to chapters around the United States. They, in turn, distribute the blankets to children in shelters, hospitals, social service agencies, and anywhere else children in crisis need some comfort.
To help defray the expenses involved, Project Linus relies not only on its corporate sponsors but also on private donations and sales from its online shop.
How You Can Help Project Linus
You can find a chapter near you — as well as guidelines for becoming a “blanketeer”– on their Volunteers page. You can also get information about starting your own chapter, if your heart desires!
More information can be found on their FAQs page.
Project Linus is an incredible story of the difference that a knitting charity can make. But none of it would be possible without its greatest resource – crafters! It is the knitters, crocheters, quilters, and other crafters who create blankets that make it so successful.
So if you haven’t considered Project Linus recently as a possibility for your charity knitting, I invite you to take another look. Visit their website, find a chapter, find a pattern, and start writing your own charity knitting success story with one of our oldest knitting charities!
Live in the UK? Project Linus operates here as well! Read this article to learn more.