Project Linus

When I was a child, I had a security blanket. It was hand-crocheted by my aunt when I was a baby, and I had it (or remnants of it) up until I was 19. It was bamboo green with large, loopy stitches that I could squeeze my fingers into. I happily scrunched it and clutched it every night of my life until there were literally just a few twisted threads left of it.

I figured that my own children would also have their own security blankets, but they, doing their own thing from the beginning, preferred stuffed animals as their security items. I can certainly understand the allure of stuffed animals, having had many myself while growing up. I’m sure many others have as well – teddy bears or favorite dolls. Tigger, in Nigel’s case.

But there’s something so universally comforting about a blanket. Project Linus began in 1995 after Karen Loucks was inspired to make blankets for her local children’s cancer center. It has since expanded greatly, with 405 chapters nationwide. Volunteers give handmade blankets to various facilities and organizations for children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need.

And I’m very excited to say that the “otherwise in need” part now includes weighted blankets for children with Sensory Processing Disorder, including those on the autism spectrum.  Many local chapters are now featuring special handmade blankets with Velcro pockets, which have folded remnants of fabric placed inside to provide the weight. The fabric remnants are removable so that you can easily wash the blanket. You can also add more fabric remnants into the Velcro pockets if your child needs more weight in the blanket. These handmade weighted blankets are amazing works of love.

Click here to find a Project Linus chapter near you. If your nearest chapter is not able to offer weighted blankets, my local chapter does, and they have offered to ship a donated blanket anywhere it needs to go! They even generously offered to donate weighted blankets to AutismCare Nepal, where I helped with the awareness workshop this past July. Thank you, Project Linus!

11 thoughts on “Project Linus

  1. Carrie

    SO cool! My daughter is 15 and still has her blankie (and stuffed animal). If there were a fire, it would be one of the first things I’d grab.

  2. Kim

    Wow–that’s so great that they’ve added weighted blankets! I’ve heard of this project before but expanding and thinking of those kiddos with sensory needs is so wonderful!

    The Roc has his “EE” and “Baby” that he’s been attached to ever since he was 13 months old. He named them too! He’s sleeping with them now (along with a jack rabbit, another elephant and a bear…there’s quite a lot of love for stuffed animals over here! Especially elephants!)

  3. dynamite girl

    Did you know I am a closet quilter? I checked out the online pattern and think I might give this a try. I love the idea. My kids all have special blankets…which look awful! Dylan just told me his doesn’t look that bad (he is reading with me) except it is purple and covered in hearts (and he is a 13 year old boy). He got it from his Aunt who made it for herself. It is made out of silk and we have found nothing ever that would compare so he has kept it, and even taken it to scout camp a couple of times.

  4. catfishking

    my mother is sso annoying she must be half fly and is always blogging she might sell me for a good blog one day soonshe will not stop nagging a bout all my pets (its ONLY 10 not that many) she is still nagging me to git rid of my spider nest

  5. CorrieHwe

    I think this is wonderful. My daughter was hospitalized when she was 18 months with a virus. The doctors didn’t tell us how serious it was until it was over. We were given a blanket in the ER, a long and scary night without benefit of my husband, who was home with the other two children. She sleeps with it to this day.

    I also had to laugh at the Peanuts reference to “Linus.” I just got home from the high school homecoming prep rally. I swear the entire marching band had this light swirling fog around them like “Pig-Pen.” Then I read your blog and laughed because I was thinking about Peanuts earlier.

  6. Nicki

    I’ve heard about Project Linus and I think its awesome! Anyone can make a blanket…. you can easily make those knot blankets that are also fun to make! I knew that they included homeless kids in their “otherwise in need” category… but how cool that they also are making weighted blankets for kids with sensory needs!

  7. mommy~dearest

    It is an awesome idea, and I followed the link you provided. Unfortunately, here was the response I received:

    “Sorry to say, I have no idea of what you are talking about. Sounds like a great idea, but guess I’ve been out of the loop with PL. Hope you can find what you need.”

    If anyone is able to find a chapter that is actually doing this, please let me know! 🙂

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