Friday, June 30, 2006

Another note from National

On Tuesday, May 30, 2006, at 11:28 PM, I gave birth to my son, Brenden,
following an induced labor. Though I was full term and he was a healthy
7lbs. 3 oz., he had a very faint heartbeat and would not breath. A code
pink was called, and several people from the NICU staff came running
in. That night, my sons life was saved.
When Brenden was four days old, on Saturday, June 3, myself, my mother,
and my grandmother noticed that Brenden was looking horrible, not to
mention sleeping way more than newborns do, would not nurse- though he
acted like he was starving, and looked severely jaundiced. He was
breathing rapidly, had a 104 degree fever, and seemed very pale and
floppy. So there we went, rushing him to the ER.
Brenden was placed in PICU, Pediatrics Intensive Care Unit, hooked up
to what seemed to be thousands of wires and medications through his IV,
and was placed under three large billi ruben lamps.
I felt horrible looking at my son, knowing he was in pain, and, again,
on the brink of death. What did I do wrong? What should I have done
differently? I asked myself so many questions. I kept thinking back to
just two days previous, when we brought him home, that the horrible
things we went through and endured as a family following his birth were
over, and everything was going to be fine from then on out. But it
Brenden was hospitalized for three full days. His billi ruben count was
20 when he was brought into the hospital, when it should have been 6.
He was severely dehydrated, partially due to the extreme heat, and
partially due to the fact that, little did any of us know, I was not
lactating nearly enough milk for my son, which also resulted in him
being starving and causing him to lose almost 1 full pound in the two
days we were home. Again, my sons life was saved.
Brenden was given a blanket during his hospitalization. A very
beautiful blanket, with a tag that noted 'Project Linus', with the
Project Linus website. It brought my mother and I both to tears that a
group of people could form an organization and care so entirely much
for babies they'd never meet. Every night my son goes to sleep with his
blanket, and every day he naps with it.
Looking at the blanket is a constant reminder that not every parent
ends up as lucky as me, and it's also a reminder that people do care,
even if they don't know you.
Thank you, Project Linus, for showing me how wonderful people you don't
even personally know can be. You're wonderful people. God Bless all of

Mary Balagna
Project Linus National Vice-president
Central IL Chapter Coordinator

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

See al the good you are doing

To Dolores Wright-Coordinator, San Jose, Ca. Chapter Project Linus

I hope that this heartfelt thank you reaches you and that you share our thanks and gratitude with all the wonderful, women and men in your Project Linus. Our Pediatric Unit at Regional Medical Center San Jose has just received several bags of the most beautiful, handmade blankets to be given out to our infants and children in the hospital. It is such a blessing that there was people in this world who give selflessly to others. You may never know what it means to a child and parent that someone they have never even met, was willing to give of their time and talent to make a child feel warm and secure during a very stressful time in their lives, but let me share with you the joy we have at being able to distribute your blankets and tell your story. Thank you so much and may your blessings to many.

Janet M. Rettig, R.N.
Assistant Department Manager Pediatrics
Regional Medical Center San Jose
225 North Jackson Avenue
San Jose, California 95116-1691
(408) 272-6459

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

New thank you from a coordinator

The following is part of a lengthy letter just received by our
chapter from an agency that deals with abused and neglected children
in Central Florida that recently moved into a new building and
underwent an expansion of its services. Such letters are rarely
received, despite mountains of blankets delivered. They need to be
published for all Blanketeers to share in.

"... [T]hank you and Project Linus for ... [a] recent donation [of
blankets] .... I know over the years you have grown accustomed to
[making] ... deliveries so I wanted to share a brief story about two
young girls who recently visited [us] ....

"About three months ago we began providing medical exams and follow
up medical care to children placed in foster care ... Before ..., The
children, many of them in foster care as a result of physical and
sexual abuse, were visiting the local health department for their
medical care.

"I am sure you can imagine the environment they found at the health
department.... Needless to say, when it came time for their latest
appointment, they were not too excited. ... [This time, they went to
the new facility.] ... [W]hen the caretaker called us later that
afternoon, she told us that all the girls could do when they got back
to the facility was brag about the [new building] and the hand made
blankets they got to pick out.... Each of the other children at this
particular foster care facility began clamoring that they wanted to
go to [the agency] for their next exam. They came into foster care
with the clothes on their back and a deep need to be loved and cared
for. We did what we could to meet their needs, but Project Linus did
for them what no one had ever done before, made something new just
for them.

"It is not enough for us to have a warm facility with expert and
professional staff. In order for us to truly meet our mission and
vision for the community, we must have the support of ... groups like
Project Linus. ..."

OK! Now, everyone reach out and pat yourself on the back.

Susan Murphy
Orlando/Central Florida Chapter

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

From a servicemans widow

I received a thank you to one of my blanketeers for a quilt received through
the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Good Grief Camp where my
chapter sent 88 patriotic blankets:
"Iris K.,
I received a security blanket for my child and want to say "thank you". I
am truly blessed to be embraced during my journey and grief and definitely
realize I am not alone nor is Brian forgotten. The blanket is absolutely
beautiful. Thank you for taking precious hours out of your personal time in
making the quilt. You have touched our soul with your kindness and
compassion. Unfortunately, many have left us alone to grieve.. but now we
have a blanket to cuddle and to hold on to.. and it definitely provides us
both security.

Thank you kindly,
Angela & Taylor
Ft. Worth, Texas"


Saturday morning, I received a telephone call from the Grandmother
of a little girl that had received a Project Linus blanket. The
little girl's Daddy had been killed in Iraq last June. Because the
child had been living with Grandma (not the Soldier's Mom) and
because the Soldier had remarried, the Military did not contact her
directly about his death. Due to those circumstances and others,
many of the benefits for this child did not come and we were not
able to locate her to send her a blanket. In February, this
Grandmother wrote to our Chapter website and asked for a blanket.
Of course, we sent one out immediately. Last Saturday, Grandma and
little Taylor (age 8) called me to tell me thank you. She takes the
blanket with her everywhere except to school. She told me that it
makes her remember all of the fun times with Daddy. She also told
me that she went to TAPS and there she received another blanket.
This little girl sounded like she had received two Christmases in
the same week. Needless to say, we shared some laughs and some
tears and it made we want to make more blankets all day. Thank you
so much to all of you that have help me to make this Project such a
success. No matter how we feel about what is going on in this
world, the one common denominator is the children and how we can
bring a little sunshine into their lives. Marleen (NW Atlanta)