Wednesday, March 15, 2006

another idea for you blanketeers

We have a fantastic chapter assistant, Kathy Kihm, who leads our Kids
Helping Kids program. I recently heard Kathy speak to a group of high school
students and loved her approach -- For me, she offered a totally new insight on
the worth of our Linus blankets. While I usually stress the comfort & security
angle, Kathy stressed how our blankets can encourage kids to be kids
regardless of their circumstances.
I asked her to write her thoughts down for all of us speaking about the
importance of Project Linus blankets for children. Our volunteers love to hear
stories. I hope her words can give you another way to describe the impact
the blankets can have.
--Kathleen Miller, Project Linus Cincinnati
"I would be willing to wager, that as a blanket maker receiving a compliment
on a job well done, you may have responded: “Oh, it was so simple to make.
I’m glad to have something to do with my time that benefits somebody.” I
hear it often!
As a charitable organization, Project Linus reaches out with blankets to
comfort children in need. As adults, we see blankets comforting children by
offering a soft, warm, protective gift that they can wrap up in, cuddle with, or
lie on or beneath. We recognize the gift of a blanket as an outward sign
that someone cares about the recipient in his/her current situation. All of
that is true, but we must look farther.
Sometimes when I speak on behalf of Project Linus, I have the opportunity
to speak to young children. On an elementary school visit, I asked a group of
kids how a blanket can comfort a child. From a child’s view, a blanket is
so much more. A blanket can be cuddled, hugged, slept with, used as a tent, a
Superhero cape, a tablecloth for tea parties, a long dress, a sleeping bag,
a shawl, a turtle shell, a hiding spot, a cape for a king or queen. A
blanket can be folded up and used as a pillow or wrapped around a secret treasure!
The list went on and on! The kids shared their ideas with exuberance,
smiles and happy eyes!
No matter the situation or hardship, kids long to be kids, and it’s obvious
that blankets can take them places far beyond the confines of a hospital
room, shelter or difficult condition. Blankets are wonderful things, and
blanket makers are extraordinary people. If you have merged your time and talent,
fabric or yarn into a blanket for a child, you have given them not only the
gift of a blanket, but fuel for their imagination and a tremendous boost of
joy! And you thought a blanket was such a simple thing!



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