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Project Linus 'blanketeers' bring smiles

There is room for many talents. Members can knit, crochet, sew or quilt
Kim Lalonde shows off one of her blankets.

A hug and a blanket can certainly help a child going through a tough time.

One of the newest chapters of Project Linus Canada is its growing membership of 'blanketeers' in Stratford and area, who are making blankets for a younger generation living through trauma or other difficult life situations.

Kim Lalonde organized the local chapter and has about a dozen members already after a social media post helped spread the word. 

"The mission is two-fold," she told StratfordToday. "To provide blankets to kids with trauma and provide a sense of community and service to people who want to contribute."

There are 45 chapters across Canada, according to Project Linus

"When the world goes crazy and a child feels like a speck of dust, the gift of a blanket from someone who made it with love and care is huge. Someone who doesn't know the child but knows their need to feel safe and warm, loved and cared for in a life gone crazy; someone who made this for them to hug and to hold and wrap themselves up in without asking for anything in return," the organization said on its website. 

Lalonde said there is room for many talents. Members can knit, crochet, sew or quilt. A local quilt club has been in touch to see if they can help, she said. 

"A lot of ladies just knit or crochet, so it gives them an outlet for their creativity."

Lalonde has also set-up a home base of sorts at Avondale Church for members to meet, chat and do some work, if they want. The group meets the last Tuesday of each month from 2-4 p.m. 

"If people want to come out they can sit and work for a few hours, or it could be a drop-off location for people with blankets."

Although most members are age 65 and up, anyone is welcome if they want to contribute. Charitable receipts are also available for materials. 

Blankets could be donated to hospitals, including pediatric units, fire departments, hospices and schools - or wherever someone may be aware of a child that is going through trauma. Membership can also come up with ideas for donation locations, she said. 

The ultimate goal, Lalonde said,  is to create a smile.

For more information you can email Lalonde at: http://[email protected].