Project Linus brings warmth
It took only a few minutes for members of the toddler class at the West Street Child Care Learning Center in Spring Valley to figure out that a michael kors bag group of visitors had a gift for each of them.
The two large clear plastic bags delivered by Ruth Wilson of Project Linus and her husband, Bill, made it pretty obvious.
In each bag and in 10 more just like them were stacks of neatly folded blankets or quilts of michael kors bag all colors, each with a book on top, tied together with ribbon or yarn.
The blankets were the work of volunteers known as blanketeers from the Westchester Rockland chapter of Project Linus, which makes monthly donations to Rockland Family Shelter and the neonatal intensive care units at Nyack and Good Samaritan hospitals.
The national group, which has 368 chapters, has donated more than 4 million blankets to children who are ill, traumatized or otherwise in need. It takes its name from Linus, the Peanuts comic strip character who gets comfort from clutching his favorite blanket.
Last Thursday, there was a blanket and a book for each of the 139 children who attend West Street, ranging from 18 months to 6 years during the school year and up to 12 years in summer.
The books were donated by holiday customers at the Barnes Noble in the Palisades Center in West Nyack. Shoppers were alerted to Project Linus and offered the opportunity to buy books to be donated along with the blanketeers’ creations. Shoppers purchased 800 books, at an average cost of about $6, according to Lisa Wolfe, the store’s community relations manager. She was at West Street to see the smiles in the toddler class taught by Elena Panganiban and Celeste Hernando.
Andy Prinston enjoyed holding aloft his Spider Man blanket, along with a storybook to match. Hannahlee Mathe quickly spread out her Snoopy blanket and started to look through her Strawberry Shortcake “Best Friends Forever” book. John Montfleury took his bundle and crossed the room to a play kitchen, where he gently worked the book out from under its ribbon. He tucked the blanket under his arm, a lot like Linus, and started flipping through his book. Armani Corbett perfectly folded and refolded her blanket, modeling a skill learned from her two grandmothers.
Ruth Wilson, who taught fifth grade at Ramapo Central’s Viola Elementary School before retiring in 2001, helped Nevaeh Samuel free her Disney “Tangled: Kingdom of Color” book from her bundle as classmates Macaylah Dubuche, Amber Norfleet, Oliver Simon and Sebastian Tucker got help from other adults.
West Street Executive Director Diane Rivera and Education Coordinator Jill Halpern were thrilled that Project Linus thought of West Street. Wolfe says Barnes Noble partners with a local charity each holiday, but once the selection is made, “it’s really our customers partnering with them.” When Ruth Wilson needed help picking a recipient, Wolfe turned to Child Care Resources, where she’s a board member. They suggested West Street.
“Support like this from the community means everything to us,” Rivera says. “It’s really nice to know people are willing to give and donate their time. Our parents will be ecstatic.”
The generosity of Barnes Noble customers overwhelmed Ruth Wilson and her colleagues, who knit, crochet or sew all the blankets and quilts. They delivered books and blankets to the neonatal units and the Family Shelter, but with the 139 blankets going to W michael kors bag michael kors bag g>est Street, the group will now push to produce blankets to match with the remaining books.
On Thursday, by the time West Street’s visitors followed Halpern on a tour, the toddlers were tuckered out. In need of a break after all the excitement, the children curled up for a rest clutching their books and cuddling their blankets, just like Linus.