The mission of Project Linus NJ, Inc. (PLNJ, Inc.) is to embrace fragile children from birth to 17 years of age with hope and healing through the gift of a handmade blanket. These children are presented with the comfort that a “hug from the heart” provides. Caring hearts and willing hands create the one-of-a-kind treasures. They are known as, “Blanketeers”.
What began as a few concerned citizens reaching out to comfort fragile children and their families has grown to over 800 active volunteers in 19 months. These volunteers have donated over 4,700 handmade blankets to children in New Jersey and across the country, as partners with global child-based agencies. Our “Caravan of Love” delivery drivers and our “good news” volunteers are an integral part of the team at PLNJ, Inc.
In October 2000, the Blanketeers participated in national Make A Difference Day. A seven site, five-hour blanket blitz was organized and over 900 handmade blankets were created and arrived in one day. Local fire stations, police departments, and first aid squads throughout three counties of New Jersey received these articles. These service departments come in contact with fragile children in need during the course of their job and it was appropriate for them to be recognized and supported as the recipients of the blanket blitz.
In April 2001, the Blanketeers engaged 100 high school students to participate in a global quilt mural project in praise of the 2001 International Year of the Volunteer. In partnership with the Community YMCA, a unique program to design and complete four murals to be donated to the United Nations Volunteer offices in Bonn, Germany and New York became the event. It was a day of youth volunteerism and community spirit with a global theme.
The volunteers of 0project Linus NJ, Inc. are quite diverse. There are blanket makers young and old. Some are experienced quilters, knitters and crocheters while many others are learning for the first time inspired by the mission. Among members are knitting circles, quilting guilds, church groups, military wives, and retail partners that offer workshops to their customers in support of the organization.
To date, over 4,700 children have felt an extra dose of tender loving care with a handmade blanket created just for them by a Project Linus NJ Blanketeer.
Blanketeers are partners in healing, on a mission of hope.