Iredell couple starting Project Linus chapter in Rowan County

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Kathy Chaffin
kchaffin@salisburypost.com
An Iredell County couple is starting a Project Linus: Providing Security Through Blankets chapter in Rowan County.
Kim and Kevin Wilden hope to collect homemade blankets, quilts and afghans for infants and children who are in some type of need or crisis. They distribute the blankets through the hospitals, fire departments, police departments, EMS, Department of Social Services, Kevin says ó anybody that deals with children.
So far, the Wildens have distributed 363 blankets, quilts and afghans to infants and children in Iredell and Davie counties. They have also started a new chapter in Alexander County.
Kim got involved with Project Linus ó a national program which has distributed 2.6 million blankets since it was formed in 1995 ó two years ago when she saw a sign at Davis Regional Medical Center in Statesville asking for volunteers to help make blankets for infants and children. Kevin joined her efforts several months later.
The Wildens work with schools, churches, quilting guilds and various other agencies and organizations to schedule blanket service projects. In Davie County last year, for example, the Domestic Violence Services and Rape Crisis Center held a Project Linus Blanket Day, during which staff members and volunteers made about 30 fringe-trimmed fleece blankets for infants and children.
Making fleece blankets is also a great service project for Scout troops, and Project Linus even provides badges for Scouts who participate.
Kevin says some residents of a rest home in Statesville formed a Linus Club and regularly make fleece blankets for children. They take great pride in what they’re doing, he says. When you look at their faces, you can see the joy they get from contributing back to the community.
The Project Linus Web site at www.projectlinus.org features free patterns for making blankets, quilts and afghans.
The Wildens have donated 170 blankets to Iredell Memorial Hospital in Statesville for parents to take home with their newborns. One of the employees in the neonatal nursery told Kim recently that they sometimes also give a blanket to parents whose babies don’t survive due to complications at birth, and that this seems to give them comfort.
To donate a blanket, quilt or afghan to Project Linus or to work with the Wildens on a Blanket Day or service project, call Kevin or Kim at 704-878-2909.
For more information on Project Linus: Providing Security Through Blankets, log onto www.projectlinus.org.

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