Volunteers make children feel special, one quilt at a time

Project Linus Walla Walla chapter has given out more than 500 handcrafted quilts, such as the one above, to area children in 2013.

Project Linus Walla Walla chapter has given out more than 500 handcrafted quilts, such as the one above, to area children in 2013. Photos courtesy of Susan Butherus

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"These quilts have found new homes and we hope they make (the recipients) feel special and warm. That is why we do what we do. We want the kids to know they are loved and warm with super-appropriate quilts made for them,” said Susan Butherus with the Project Linus of Walla Walla chapter.

“When our group hears of a child in need due to homelessness, death in the family or illness, we try to provide them with a quilt that can supply a little comfort and warmth,” said Susan Butherus.

Project Linus of Walla Walla has done so in spades this year, giving out more than 500 quilts to envelop children from birth to age 18 in coverlets of love. The national organization has impacted young lives through the delivery of more than 4.8 million handmade blankets since 1998.

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A Project Linus quilt.

The team of local volunteers has positively impacted kids from the Department of Children and Families, Women’s Shelter at the YWCA, Helpline, American Red Cross, Jubilee Leadership Academy, the local ambulance service, Children’s Home Society and many other agencies, Susan said.

Project Linus in Walla Walla will use a grant from Blue Mountain Community Foundation to buy warm flannel for use as backings for its quilts in 2014, Susan said. And they’re afforded space in which to work, as Walla Walla Sew & Vac & Spas hosts the quilters’ workshop every month.

“Without all the support we receive from our wonderful, dedicated volunteers and support from our community, we would not be able to reach the kids who need us,” she said.

The local group of volunteers produces 48-by-54-inch quilts for bigger kids. They find their patterns in quilt books and on the Internet. “We have cupboards of cute stuff for kids of all ages.”

We have such a talented group of women. They are fabulous. They not only donate their time, they put a lot of personal money into the group as well. That’s why we can give such beautiful quilts to the kids. I want everyone in town to know how fabulous our group is here in Walla Walla.

National Project Linus President Carol Babbitt said, “The comfort brought to a child by a Project Linus security blanket should not be underestimated. Thanks to our many blanketeers and our chapter coordinators, millions of children and their families have been given comfort and security at a time when they need it most. In addition, blanketeers are given an opportunity to use their talents and abilities in a most rewarding way.”

For details on the workshops or Project Linus, contact Susan at 509-629-2061 or Kennyb5@charter.net.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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