|Samantha, Carol Jebavy, Joan Bender, and Cathy Groelle with blankets for Project Linus.|
Carol Jebavy, Brenda Osterman, Cathy Groelle, and Barb Schneider with blankets for Project Linus.
Comfort and joy can be found in a warm and beautifully-made blanket. Several Western Fraternal Life lodges across the United States have been inspired to make blankets for others.
For the past four years, members of No. 360, Manitowoc, WI, have been involved in Project Linus. The organization is a nationwide program that provides homemade security blankets to seriously ill, traumatized, or needy children.
No. 360 members came together and crocheted, knitted, or made cut-and-tie blankets. Some members worked on their blankets at home as they watched television, and other times, they got together in the evening to knit or crochet as they visited.
Member Barb Schneider commented, "It makes me feel good to be helping children." Many members became involved because they want to help local charity groups and children. Not only is it helpful, but it's something that is easy to do while relaxing in the evening. The members enjoy seeing everyone's finished blankets.
"This project is very gratifying and if you are a knitter or if you crochet other items, you can use your leftover yarn to do these blankets so it doesn't cost much. I only buy the fleece on sale and that keeps the expenses down also. There are many patterns for these blankets online so you don't have to be overly skilled to do this. Many are very simple patterns. The end products are beautiful and they help so many children of all ages," said Secretary of No. 360, Cathy Groelle.
While they may not hear about all the recepients of their blankets, they do know it is making a difference. Recently, they heard of a boy who survived a house fire, and was comforted by the gift of a blanket that let him know someone cared.
Next year, No. 360 and No. 142 will be hosting the State Convention in October. They plan to supply materials so that participants can make cut-and-tie blankets as a community project at the Convention. More information about this will be included in the State Convention packets.
Information about Project Linus, including your local contacts and instructions for blankets, can be found online at www.projectlinus.org.
Cedar Rapids members cutting fleece to make blankets for Waypoint Domestic Violence Center at Mount Mercy University on Martin Luther King Day.
|Jim Wolfe with grandkids Reece and Rilynn Dolezal, and their friend Drew, showing the fleece blanket they tied for Waypoint.|
In Cedar Rapids, IA, there has also been a long tradition of making blankets for people who need them. Linda Grove, Heritage No. 13, commented that they and other Cedar Rapids lodges have made blankets for nursing homes, Waypoint, and youth programs, such as Tanager Place.
It's an opportunity to not only help others, but get them involved. In the case of Tanager Place, the children were able to help make the blankets in exchange for good behavior during the week. Afterward, the kids were able to keep the blanket they made.
As the lodges prepared to make blankets, several members kept an eye out for sales at fabric stores. They recommend talking to managers about discounts as the purpose of the project is explained. Another tip shared was to look for anti-pill fleece, which will retain its appearance after washing.
The cut-and-tie blanket activity is one that can be enjoyed by most ages, and requires no sewing. Below are step-by-step instructions for making these blankets.
Visit these instructions online at: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Fleece-Tie-Blanket.
Call 877-935-2467 to speak with a Western Fraternal Life Representative.