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Project Linus blanket-making day Nov. 17 at Valley Grange

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GUILFORD — Volunteers will not need any knitting skills to take part in a blanket-making event later in the month at the Valley Grange. Instead those taking part will be able to easily assemble blankets for Project Linus, a non-profit organization providing the homemade comfort items to children in need.

Event organizer Heather Burgess, who is a senior at Foxcroft Academy, said the Project Linus blanket-making day will be “Saturday the 17th, 9 a.m. to noon” at the Valley Grange located at 172 Guilford Center Road at the corner with Butter Street.

“I’ve been organizing it for the past three years, I try to get one event each year,” Burgess said. “For the past two years it’s been there,” at the Valley Grange.

Burgess said her grandmother is a member of the Valley Grange “and now I’m a member as well, I’ve been helping them with certain things for a while now.”

Project Linus Valley Grange Foxcroft Academy

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
SECURITY BLANKETS — Foxcroft Academy seniors Heather Burgess, right, and Madison Hall hold up a pair of Project Linus blankets similar to the comfort items that will be created during an upcoming Project Linus blanket-making day. Burgess is organizing an event from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Valley Grange in Guilford as volunteers will put together blankets to be given to area hospitals for children who may be seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise be in need.

“We’re looking for anyone that would like to come out and help, so volunteers,” she said. “It’s pretty simple, if you know how to cut, put a piece of tape down and tie, you’re good for it. No sewing machines at all.”

Showing a finished blanket, Burgess said, “As you can can tell there’s no sewing for this at all, it’s just a simple cut four inches from the side to here and then cut about 1-inch strips and make them into knots, it’s pretty simple.”

“If you’re with a team, usually what we do is have one person cutting out,” she said. “When we first get the fleece it comes with edges that are not straight, so you have to cut them so on average I would say 30-40 minutes per blanket.”

Burgess said the needed supplies have been gathered. She said enough money, about $200, has been collected so that fundraising is not needed for the Nov. 17 event.

“I think last year we had 12 or 13 of them, so if could get 15 or more that would be great,” Burgess said about the number of blankets she hopes to have finished in several weeks.

The blankets will then be donated to area hospitals to be given to children who may be seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise be in need. “Most of them go here to Mayo but if Eastern Maine is in high demand for them then we’ll
send them there as well,” Burgess said about the respective Dover-Foxcroft and Bangor medical facilities.

“I have two little sisters and they both had to go to the hospital due to seizures,” Burgess said about how she became involved in Project Linus.

“One of my little sisters had to go to the hospital about four years ago for a seizure and she came home with a blanket like this except it was a sewed one and that was her blanket, she wouldn’t let it leave her side or anything,” she said. “ It became important to me because it made her so happy and I like making people happy, I want to go do this for other little kids.”

“We always have snacks and drinks available,” Burgess said about refreshments for those helping out on Nov. 17.

“It helps people donate their time, people do it out of the goodness of their hearts,” Madison Hall, a Foxcroft Academy senior who also is involved in Project Linus, said.

For more information on the blanket-making day, please contact Valley Grange Lecturer and Program Director Walter Boomsma at walter@boomsmaonline.com.

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