Peterborough community members knit for Project Linus

  • Project Linus volunteers knit blankets for children in need at the Peterborough Community Center. From left are Gloria Schultz, Sue McMillan, Anita Fellows and Arlene MacArthur. STAFF PHOTO BY JOSH LACAILLADE

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/2/2023 11:03:14 AM

Peterborough community members are rallying together to provide warm blankets for children in need. 

Every last Wednesday of the month, community members over the age of 50 gather at the Peterborough Community Center to contribute to Project Linus’s Southwest New Hampshire Chapter, a nonprofit nationwide organization focused on providing handmade blankets to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or in need. 

Since joining the chapter in 2020, Peterborough community members have made and distributed hundreds of blankets to children in need across the region, including the Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough, Cheshire Medical Center in Keene and Shelter from the Storm in Jaffrey. Materials are often donated, but occasionally, Project Linus volunteers pay for supplies out-of-pocket. 

Since joining Project Linus four years ago, quilter Arlene MacArthur said the chapter has been growing in numbers and more blankets are being distributed year after year.

“It started with blankets for sick children in hospitals, but it has morphed into something much greater,” said MacArthur.

According to chapter coordinator Robyn Manley, the southwest chapter, consisting of community members from Hillsborough, Cheshire, Merrimack and Sullivan counties, has distributed more than 12,000 blankets to children in the last two years despite COVID-19 complications. This year, the chapter has donated 2,491 blankets, and volunteers are hoping to beat last year’s numbers.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Project Linus volunteers do not hand-deliver blankets, but in prior years, other chapters have allowed quilters to personally deliver their blankets. Longtime Project Linus volunteer Anita Fellows said hand-delivering her blankets to children is an experience she’ll never forget.

“Parents are just very overwhelmed when they get blankets. Tt’s just very touching,” she said.

As the chapter continues to grow, Manley said she’s proud to be part of an ongoing effort to provide children the warmth and support they need.

“In the last few years, we have donated over 6,000 blankets, and now we got more and more agencies to deliver to,” said Manley. “It’s extremely rewarding.”

Project Linus volunteers meet every last Wednesday of the month from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Peterborough Community Center. All community members age 50 and over are welcome. 

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