The late Charles Schulz is well known as the creator of the beloved Peanuts comic strip. However, Schulz has another claim to fame—he coined the phrase “security blanket.” His character, Linus van Pelt, was never seen without his beloved blue blanket, a trait that made him stand out from the rest of the regular Peanuts cast. For Linus, that blanket was a constant source of comfort and confidence especially when dealing with his often crabby and intimidating older sister, Lucy.
Today over 60 years since the Peanuts comic strip was first published, the idea of a child having a favorite “blankie” remains as commonplace as teddy bears and dolls, and eternally-young Linus has become the mascot for a national organization dedicated to donating security blankets to children.
Aptly named Project Linus, this non-profit was first established in 1995 after its founder, Karen Loucks, read an article in Parade Magazine about a three-year-old girl named Laura who was diagnosed with Leukemia. The article mentioned that Laura had “a special ‘blankie’” that helped her endure more than two years of chemotherapy. Inspired by Laura’s story, Loucks donated homemade security blankets to Denver's Rocky Mountain Children's Cancer Center.
Since its creation, Project Linus has expanded beyond its headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois, to all 50 states where volunteer local chapter coordinators and volunteer blanket makers or “blanketeers” have created and delivered more than 5.7 million homemade security blankets to children in shelters, hospitals, social service agencies and “anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug.”
“The comfort brought to a child by a Project Linus security blanket should not be underestimated,” Project Linus’ National President Carol Babbitt said. “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.”
To learn more about Project Linus and its chapters, visit http://www.projectlinus.org/
Instructions for quilt, blanket and afghan patterns are available at http://www.projectlinus.org/patterns/