Havre, Montana – Northern Montana Hospital is proud to announce that they will be partnering with Project Linus, a national children’s charity, to provide gifts of comfort to their youngest patients. Project Linus was named after the adorable security blanket-toting character from the Peanuts comic strip. The Great Falls Chapter of Project Linus will be donating children’s handmade blankets and afghans lovingly created by their volunteer “Blanketeers”.
On Christmas Eve, 1995, an article titled “Joy to the World” appeared in Parade Magazine. It was written by Pulitzer Prize winning photo-journalist, Eddie Adams. Part of the article featured a petite, downy haired child named Laura, who suffered from cancer. The article talked about a special “blankie” that Laura used to comfort herself during her treatment. Karen Loucks, a resident of Denver, felt inspired by the article and began donating homemade security blankets to Denver’s Rocky Mountain Children’s Cancer Center, and Project Linus was born.
Project Linus is comprised of nearly 400 chapters across the United States. All are directed by volunteers who work from their homes. The Project Linus National Headquarters is located in Bloomington, Illinois. With chapters in all 50 states, Project Linus continues to grow. Blankets are collected locally and distributed to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies, or anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug.
Their mission has been first of all to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need, through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans. Secondly, this project provides a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities to benefit of children in their own community.
Kathy LaBaty, RN, Director of Acute Care Services at Northern Montana Hospital oversees patient care in the Emergency Department and the Medical/Surgical floor, where children are often treated. “The comfort brought to a child by a Project Linus security blanket should not be underestimated. We are looking forward to being able to provide comfort and security at a time when a child would need it most. In addition, community members are given an opportunity to use their talents and abilities in a most rewarding way, close to home.”
Anyone wishing to assist with The Project Linus by donating funds, materials or blankets, may contact Gina Loss, Coordinator of Project Linus, Great Falls Chapter. Her number is 406-866-2318. Or donors may visit www.projectlinus.org.