Missouri 4-H’ers have been hard at work making blankets since the State 4-H Fashion Revue in October. Fifty 4-H’ers from 19 counties donated 72 handmade blankets to Project Linus as a result of a philanthropy challenge at the event.
Project Linus is a national nonprofit that facilitates the donation of handmade blankets and afghans to children who are ill or in need. Blankets are collected locally and distributed to children through hospitals and social service agencies.
At the Fashion Revue in October, 4-H’ers learned about Project Linus from Conni Douvier, North Central Missouri Chapter coordinator for Project Linus. The youths participated in a no-sew fleece blanket workshop, then they were challenged to take this opportunity back to their clubs and see how many blankets they could make.
“My favorite part of this project is seeing youth make the connection between their passions and ways to give back to their community,” said University of Missouri Extension 4-H educator and Fashion Revue coordinator Samantha Brandeberry. “We hope that experiences like this inspire them to find other ways to use that spark to benefit others.”
One 4-H’er, Chloe Beal, worked with her club, The Adventurers 4-H Club in Boone County, to organize a club collection. Club members added the blanket workshop to one of their meetings. While some youths met in person, Chloe also arranged for supplies to be dropped off at the homes of 4-H’ers attending the meeting virtually.
“Chloe challenged our club to make as many as they could. Today we’re happy to say that she donated 33 blankets on behalf of our club,” said Chloe’s mom, Liz Beal.
In St. Charles County, Kate and Libby Bello made seven blankets with their club, the Twin Rivers 4-H Club. The girls made five more blankets on their own and collected another four blankets from other 4-H members and volunteers for a total of 16 blankets. Melissa Bello, Kate and Libby’s mom, said, “We were thrilled to take part in this philanthropy project. Our club has implemented community service in a similar way over the past seven years, using skills that are learned in 4-H to benefit others.”