Project Linus volunteers make, package, and distribute handmade blankets (that is, quilts, fleece blankets, knitted & crocheted afghans) to children in a wide variety of crisis situations. Central Texas Project Linus groups meet on the third Saturday of every month (except November & December) and have meetings in far-south Austin and in Bastrop. Check the menu bar on the left for dates. If you'd like to receive monthly news of our activities, please sign up to be on our mailing list. There is always an "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of each newsletter, and we never share our email list with anyone. (Hosted by MailChimp.)
Project Linus is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization started in December 1995 by Karen Loucks in Parker, Colorado. Karen read an article in Parade magazine about a little girl who was comforted by a blanket as she underwent chemotherapy treatments. Having recently learned to crochet, Karen began supplying blankets to the Rocky Mountain Children's Cancer Center. As she told her friends about her self-appointed task, they offered to help. Over time and assorted growing pains, Project Linus grew into a national organization with nearly 400 chapters providing blankets to children in need all across the USA.
In January 2004, while shopping at Austin Sew-n-Vac in Round Rock, Diane Whitehouse spotted a brochure from Janome of America promoting the 2004 Project Linus Make-A-Blanket Day (MABD). Her immediate reaction was “I'd like to continue helping children year ‘round, not just once a year. What better way to make a difference then to give a child a BLANKET FULL Of Hugs?“ She went to the Project Linus national website listed in the brochure looking for the nearest chapter. Finding none in the area, she carefully considered her options, decided to forge ahead, applied for chapter status, and was approved on April 12, 2004.
Eventually Jean Bishop offered to become her assistant. Since then, Jean's crocheting expertise has helped educate others interested in making afghans. Jean developed monthly blanket-making sessions in south Austin.
In 2009, the chapter donated over 1,700 blankets to children in need through various community services. By 2011, we were up to over 2,200. And in early 2012, we added a group who meet and distribute blankets in Bastrop County. Our annual total of blankets shared with children in 2013 was just a few blankets short of 2,500. Clearly, needs continue to grow each year and your help would be greatly appreciated!
In January 2010, Diane resigned as the Chapter Coordinator as she and her husband retired and moved out of the area. Unwilling to let this valuable work stop, Anita Howe, a blanketeer with the South group, stepped in and continued Diane's work. Anita stepped down as Coordinator in January 2013 and Brenda Kilburn took on the position. Jean Bishop is the meeting coordinator, and Mary Knauer is organizing the Bastrop County effort.
Sadly, due to declining membership for assorted reasons, and losing their meeting space, the group that met in Round Rock disbanded as of May 2014. Some of their members continue to work with the remaining group and we hope to continue to get blankets to the more northern locations.
The Project Linus Mission Statement
Project Linus is comprised of nearly four hundred local chapters and thousands of volunteers across the United States. Each volunteer and local chapter all work together to help us achieve our mission statement, which states:
First, it is our mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”
Second, it is our mission to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.
“The best kind of sleep under heaven above, is under a blanket handmade with love...”
Blankets for children in Williamson, Travis, Hays, & Bastrop Counties of Central Texas
|Baby||36" x 36"|
|Toddler/Child||45" x 54"|
|Pre-Teen/Teen||54" x 72" or larger|
These sizes are approximate. A larger blanket will fit all sizes of children but a small blanket will fit only the smaller ones.
Please include a label that shows your name, address, and/or email with each blanket so we will know whom to thank!
Finally, be especially careful about checking for straight pins if used in the construction of your blanket. Some of our blankets go to hospitals so we try to be careful not to use materials that could come loose and end up in small mouths or get tangled in medical equipment.