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Project Linus finds a home in St. Lawrence Centre

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MASSENA — When Charles M. Schulz created Linus, the lovable Peanuts character who is never seen without his blanket, he had no idea that the character would one day become the symbol of a national organization that helps provide a sense of security for children and teens in need.

Locally that organization, Project Linus, is headquartered at St. Lawrence Centre, where chapter coordinator Virginia M. Galligan collects donations of materials, blankets and money each week to help keep the organization going.

“Usually it’s run out of your home, but I asked national if I could use another location because I feel it’s better suited for St. Lawrence County,” Ms. Galligan said.

“The mall has been great,” she said. “We did a blanket day here, so we already had a relationship with the mall ... they’ve always been supportive of what we do.”

Project Linus is located in the Sears end of the mall next to the former SUNY Canton space and is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Sunday for people who would like to make a donation, volunteer their time or learn more about the organization.

While Sundays are the only set hours, Ms. Galligan said other arrangements also can be made. Those interested may search Facebook for St. Lawrence Project Linus, as the national headquarters also has a page.

While the focus of Project Linus is collecting and making blankets to give to children in need, Ms. Galligan said she also is hoping to host other projects to promote Project Linus.

“We’re hoping to have a couponing class at some point,” she said. “We would like to get more people involved and have some other events. If anyone has any ideas that would be great.”

In addition to accepting monetary donations, yarn and fabric, Ms. Galligan said, Project Linus accepts donations of already-made blankets as long as they’re homemade and come from a smoke-free environment.

Every year Project Linus hosts an event called “Let’s Cover St. Lawrence County’s Children.” This year the event will be on Aug. 4 in the former SUNY Canton space next to its office. In addition to holding a blanket and materials drive, volunteers will be on site making blankets to donate.

“We’ll also be teaching people how to make quilts, and I’ll be teaching people how to loom knit,” Ms. Galligan said. She asks individuals to let her know if they know of a child or teen who could use a blanket.

Ms. Galligan said she has a friend who is a foster parent and each time a new foster child arrives in their home, they’re greeted by a blanket from Project Linus, whose motto is “Providing Security Through Blankets.”

Last year, which was Ms. Galligan’s first, St. Lawrence Project Linus collected 166 blankets.

“I do this because I love it and I have my own little Linus at home,” she said. “It’s the perfect thing for me to do.”

Ms. Galligan may be reached at 608-7974 or via email at StLawrence.NY@projectlinus.org.

Monetary donations may be sent to Project Linus, P.O. Box 82, Massena, N.Y. 13662.

On the web:

www.stlawrenceprojectlinus.com

www.projectlinus.org

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