Joy Montag, the Chapter Coordinator for the Santa Barbara Project Linus shows some blankets like those delivered to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Child Abuse Listening and Mediation (CALM) and Transition House.
“It’s a very personal way to give. You put yourself in it. We have piecers, quilters, crocheters and knitters donating handmade blankets,” said Joy. In addition to Santa Barbara and Goleta, the chapter donates blankets from Buellton, Ojai, Oxnard and Carpinteria, she said.
Basically, the child service organizations tell Montag how many blankets they think they’ll need, and her volunteers get their needles and threads going.
“It means a lot to the kids to have that security blanket with them,” said Jaynie Wood, child life specialist for children’s services at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. “There was one child that received a blanket on admission and throughout treatment the blanket came for each visit. By the end of treatment the blanket was threadbare, it had been washed so many times,” said Wood. “Also because the hospital can be difficult, not the same environment as home, (the blanket) brings a piece of home back with them to the hospital,” she said.
The need for blankets is always greatest around the holiday time, said Montag, who labels each blanket herself, with a handmade tag sporting the famous Peanuts character that says, “Made with tender loving care for Project Linus.”
At last count, the Santa Barbara-based chapter had given away 4,299 blankets, the handiwork of 83 volunteers, Montag said. Among the volunteers — who work at home, guilds, churches or social groups — are several church groups, the Girl Scouts and students at Crane School, she said.