There is something so comforting about having a warm, cozy blanket wrapped around you. The great people at The Linus Connection know this and have been spreading their love through blankets for years. The group has made it their mission to provide security to children through handmade blankets. The Settlement Home is fortunate to be a recipient of these wonderful blankets, which are given to each child when they come to The Settlement Home.
We caught up with Stephanie Sabatini, the Executive Director of The Linus Connection, for an inside look at this organization.
TSH: The Linus Connection makes and distributes blankets for children in crisis situations. Project Linus started in Colorado. How did it start in Austin and what kind of impact has The Linus Connection made in Central Texas?
SS: The Linus Connection began in Austin in August of 1999 when a group of women read an article about Project Linus and decided to form a similar group here.Our first delivery was to the Texas Baptist Children’s home in Round Rock.Since that time we have continued to work towards to goal of providing a unique handmade blanket to every child in crisis and at-risk in Central Texas.Thus far we have provided over 54,000 blankets and we continue to make and handout over 400 each month.
TSH: In 2013, The Linus Connection distributed 4,628 blankets. That takes a tremendous group of hard working volunteers! Tell us about your volunteers. SS: Our volunteers are AWESOME! We have such a variety it is hard to describe. We have older women who have been knitting or sewing for years. These women often cannot get out of their homes to volunteer like they did in the past, but this is a way from them to use their tremendous talents to help the community. We have Girl Scouts troops and Boy Scout troops making fleece blankets and learning how to sew and volunteer for the first time. We have stay-at-home Moms and working women who work on their blankets in the evenings and during some of their only free time. Some of our volunteers make only 2-3 blankets a year while other make a dozen a month.
TSH: How can someone become a Linus Connection volunteer? What skills do they need to have?
SS: To start you need only the desire to help! If you have any experience with knitting, crocheting or sewing you can make a blanket. If you don’t, we can teach you! We have a monthly get-together during which we always have ladies teaching knitting and crocheting. We also have a quilt demonstration every month.
At the meetings we also have donated supplies which can be taken home to make into blankets – we have yarn, fabric and batting for quilts. These meetings occur on the third Saturday of each month from 9 – 11 a.m. at St. Philips Methodist church in Round Rock.
TSH: Why does The Linus Connection like working with The Settlement Home?
SS: All of us at the Linus Connection love the idea that each girl who stays at The Settlement Home, whether for a couple of months or years, gets a Linus blanket for their very own. We know that the girls get to choose their blanket for the current supply and hope they find one that is special to them. We hope that the blankets show them that there are people in the community who really care for them. We also hope that the blankets become a special part of their lives for many years.
The Linus Connection is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We are all volunteers with very low operating costs. Every dollar and item donated goes towards making the blankets for the children in our community. All donations of yarn, fabric or funds are greatly appreciated! To learn more visit our website at www.theLinusConnection.org
A donation of blankets.
Jacob Huereca, Operations Director at The Settlement Home, and Linus Connection Executive Director Stephanie Sabatini.