Named after the beloved, blanket-carrying character from the “Peanuts” comic strip, Project Linus does real-life work that improves the lives of children facing hardship.
Tucson Chapter Coordinator Rene Lassise said her group has a database of around 300 volunteers who make blankets and drop them off or pick them up and quality check them at collection sites around the city. One of those locations is Sundt’s Tucson office; the company lends space to the organization once a month.
Project Linus gives blankets to facilities and nonprofits that distribute them based on need.
“Our blankets are delivered once a month to hospitals, clinics, the DCS/foster care facilities, Ronald McDonald House, Emerge!, Blake Foundation/Easter Seals, etc.,” Rene said. “We try to fill the needs at the hospitals and clinics first, getting blankets to the neediest children.”
Project Linus’ national organization estimates purchasing the material to make a blanket costs $20. The Tucson chapter also accepts donations of new, clean yarn and fabric. By mixing donations with new materials, Rene is able to make kits available to groups and individuals to turn into blankets.
Volunteers from the Tucson chapter made 6,800 blankets last year. A $2,000 grant from the Sundt Foundation is helping the organization supplement what it has and keeps volunteers from having to dig as deep in their pockets to pay for supplies. In a sign of gratitude, the organization made a blanket with Sundt’s logo on it that hangs in the Tucson office’s lobby.
“Our organization needs these blankets for the children all the time, 365 days of the year. It isn’t a one-time event,” Rene said. “The grant from the Sundt Foundation enables me to have the materials available for the volunteers to make the blankets.”
Rene said her chapter receives numerous cards and letters from blanket recipients. She has almost five scrapbooks filled with thank-you notes.
“I have one story from a young lady I met at the University of Arizona during one of our events on campus,” Rene said. “She was a senior and getting ready to graduate that spring. When she was 15, she attempted suicide. While in the hospital, she was given a Linus blanket. She said she realized the world is full of caring people and she still had her blanket in the dorm room with her.”
This is part of a series of blogs about the positive impacts made by the Sundt Foundation.