Students, Kelley Hardie was searching last school year for an organization that Waynesburg students can get involved with on campus. During her research, she found Project Linus; a non-profit organization that has chapters in all 50 states.
“Whenever I did research on Project Linus I just fell in love with their mission and I wanted to get involved with them, but I noticed that Greene County did not have a chapter,” said Hardie. “In April I applied to be a chapter coordinator to be able to host a chapter here in Greene County and we were then accepted through the national organization.”
Project Linus’ mission is to provide new or homemade blankets for children in need. Hardie said that a child in need is defined by the child having a chronic illness, having been traumatized through sexual, physical, or mental abuse or have a serious illness.
“It’s just such an amazing cause and it is difficult because we may never see the child ever receive the blanket,” said Hardie. “But the sense of comfort and warmth that the blankets give we know that it will provide them with such an amazing joy.”
The blankets are created by “blanketeers,” which is a fancy way of saying individuals who make blankets and that can be done by hosting blanket parties in the community. Anyone can host a blanket party with their club, organization, church, school or youth group and they can make blankets for the cause.
“Events thus far have been hosted within the residence halls, through our center for service leadership office and athletic teams,” said Hardie. “So far to date the brand-new Greene County chapter has raised and donated over 100 blankets on behalf of Project Linus.”
The new Greene County Project Linus chapter consists of over 100 student volunteers from Waynesburg University as well as community members. Hardie said that she has eight community volunteer leaders that have been working with their church, with their organization or with their non-profit organizations to make blankets and fulfill the mission. Any type of blanket is accepted for Project Linus, they just have to be new or homemade.
Next month there will be a blanket party here on campus for students to make blankets. Last year there was a blanket party hosted by Waynesburg University students along with Second Sam Nine, which is a non-profit organization for adults that have a mental challenge.
“They loved it,” said Hardie. “They made over 10 blankets and we donated them to the Ronald McDonald house in Morgantown, West Virginia.”
If interested in being a part of the new Greene County chapter for Project Linus by either hosting a blanket party, being a part of a blanket party or by donating blankets, contact Kelley Hardie by email firstname.lastname@example.org.