We are committed to sharing our community’s Good News. This article is a follow up to our “TELLING OUR COMMUNITY’S GOOD NEWS” article. You can read more here: https://sweetwaterglobal.com/telling-our-communitys-good-news/
It may not seem like much, but providing a child with a handmade blanket during trauma provides security and comfort. This blanket allows them to form an emotional bond to ease their fears.
One mother reached out to share the significance of this irreplaceable gift to her son. After receiving his diagnosis of Leukemia, her son was given a blanket from Project Linus. His blanket became the one thing her child clung to and wanted with him at all times.
“It was what he wanted on him when we took the long ambulance ride to St Jude and was the only thing, he could handle touching him when the bone kept him up Saturday night,” said the young boy’s mother, “And it is what he is holding onto tonight as we prepare for surgery and chemo tomorrow.”
After meeting with The Renegades, a subgroup of the local Project Linus Chapter, we are excited to share more about the amazing things this group does. This extraordinary group of quilters spends their time creating handmade blankets to provide a sense of love and warmth to a child in crisis. After the impacts of COVID-19 on so many, we knew there was more to share of their story.
Many of the blanketeers, as the Renegades call themselves, are older and therefore spending their time sheltering in place. While COVID-19 has made it difficult for the materials to be dropped off and the blankets picked up, it hasn’t slowed down the blanketeers from creating new blankets to ease the pain surrounding local children.
Since the Huntsville chapter began 13 years ago, they have given out 23,000 blankets. 645 of those blankets were given out from April through June. Each blanket found its way into loving arms at local hospitals and other organizations such as, TAPS, a grief support camp for children who have lost a military parent, and Kids to Love, an organization that works to help children in foster care find security and their forever home.
In February, the group was able to hold their Blanket Daze blanket collection day, where 479 blankets were collected. These blankets quickly went on to Huntsville Hospital to wrap comfort around the children in the Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Unfortunately, the group had to cancel their Blanket Daze in April, but they are looking ahead in preparation for their next one.
“The next Blanket Daze is being scheduled for September,” said Tina Melton, Chapter Coordinator of the Renegades. “But we may have to modify our plans not to jeopardize the health of our Blanketeers.”
While it isn’t typical for the group to receive a letter regarding the blankets shared, the Blanketeers know that each of their blankets has helped the children and families going through these unimaginable hardships. Even though they are working within the bounds of social distancing, the Renegades are standing strong in their mission to help children in need.
Donations such as fabric and quilting supplies can still be made at Patches and Stitches, located at 603 Humes Avenue in Huntsville, in the Five Points Neighborhood.