One of the important missions of Firelands Presbyterian Church is Project Linus. Since May of 2004, a group of 12 active sewers have made more than 800 quilts and blankets for ill or traumatized children. On May 24th, a total of 189 quilts will be given to Akron Children’s Hospital, where gravely ill or injured children from 20 northern Ohio counties are served. Christine Fleissner, the volunteer project coordinator for the Akron chapter of Project Linus, has processed more than 40,000 quilts and blankets such as those from the needle women of Firelands Church. In addition to those given to Akron Children’s Hospital, handmade blankets were sent to all the families of Sandy Hook and families displaced by super storm Sandy.
It is due to the efforts of the current quilters and blanket makers that Project Linus has grown to such a successful mission under the leadership of Maxine Wilson. All sewers donate their fabric, yarn and time, and the batting is donated by the church. Firelands members include Connie Brand, Shirley Carlson, Kaye Elliott, Anita Fisher, Kay McIntosh, Joan Moore, Marilyn Umlauf, Sally Wahlers, Sally Walter, Ginger Brown, Maxine Wilson, and external friends Marie Ripich, Pat Hines, Carolyn Oakley, Karen Hasselbach and Debbie Beaulieu.
In describing the commitment of the participants of Project Linus at Firelands Presbyterian Church, Maxine Wilson simply cites a quote from Mother Teresa. “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
Project Linus is a non-profit organization, dedicated to “providing security through blankets”. Nationally, Project Linus has donated more than 4.4 million handmade blankets to help comfort children in need in hospitals, hospices, and shelters. Project Linus has 386 chapters in the United States. Inspired by a picture of a three-year-old cancer patient holding her security blanket, Project Linus was begun in 1995 by Karen Loucks, who named the project after the adorable security blanket toting character from the Peanuts comic strip. www.projectlinus.org
Call Maxine Wilson, one of the Firelands sewers, at 419.797.2854 for more information about Project Linus at Firelands Presbyterian Church. If you would like to sponsor a quilt for Project Linus, please make your tax deductible contribution payable to Firelands Presbyterian Church, and indicate “Project Linus” in the memo line. Your financial support for helping to sponsor this project is gratefully accepted. A blanket or quilt is like a big hug when a child needs one.
Firelands Presbyterian Church is located at 2626 East Harbor Road (1/2 mile west of Wal-Mart). Founded in 1982, Firelands Presbyterian Church continues to grow in mission and in program. In addition to Project Linus, Firelands Church also operates a food pantry inside the church, offers its kitchen facilities for the summer lunch program, houses a two-star rated preschool and day care, and more. www.firelandschurch.org