South Charlotte

Making blankets is making a real difference

On Sept. 17, Jacob Goodson, 5-year-old son of Jennifer and Todd Goodson of Matthews, received the 10,000th handmade blanket presented by the Charlotte chapter of Project Linus, at Candlewyck Baptist Church.

Family, friends and volunteers gathered for a cake and punch reception after the presentation.

"We make, collect and distribute handmade blankets to children who are seriously ill, in crisis or trauma," said Mary Crew, coordinator for the local chapter of Project Linus.

Jacob has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a motor-neuron disease affecting the muscles for crawling, walking, head and neck control and swallowing. Jacob attends Rama Road Elementary School.

Project Linus volunteers know children often find a soothing comfort or special closeness in a favorite blanket; it's like a handmade hug.

The second Tuesday of every month, from 6 to 8 p.m., Project Linus volunteers gather in the classroom in the Hobby Lobby store on N.C. 51 in the Matthews area. They share ideas, skills and information as they work.

Crew, 60, says, "If you don't knit, sew or crochet, we can teach you to cut fleece."

"We have Girl Scouts to grandmas. It's a project you can do at any age," Crew said.

The local chapter donates its handiwork to 22 local agencies, hospitals and social services, including CMC Levine, Presbyterian Hospitals, Blume Cancer Treatment Center, A Child's Place and Thompson Children's Center.

"In some cases, we have shipped blankets overseas or across the country to help the relief efforts of groups who minister in areas of need due to natural disasters." said Crew. "Sometimes we give them to children of fallen soldiers from our country or other individual children we find in need."