There is nothing like the comfort of a blanket to make someone feel better, and to help spread this warm feeling Naperville Public Library is presenting two upcoming programs dedicated to giving blankets to those in need.
Experienced adult and teen knitters and crocheters as well as those who want to learn how to knit and crochet can attend the program, Pay it Forward: Project Linus. The program, which is open to adults and teens in 6th through 12th grades, will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 6, March 20, April 3 and April 17 at Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave.
Participants can make 45-inch wide quilts, tied fleece blankets as well as knitted and crocheted Afghan blankets. The blankets will be delivered to seriously ill and traumatized children in the pediatrics units of Edward Hospital and Central DuPage Hospital.
"I think this is a wonderful charitable program that gives back to our community to help those in need," said Sandy Peto, Adult Services associate.
Participants usually work on their blanket during the program and then continue to create their project at home, Peto said. They may be able to finish making a hat during the evening program, but an Afghan or shawl could take more time to complete. As items are collected during the program, Peto said she will deliver them to the hospitals.
Attendees can use their own materials as well as child-friendly colors. Since some children may have allergies to different materials, pets or scents, crafters should not use wool to make the blankets and use materials like acrylic, polyester or cotton.
The library's Pay It Forward program benefits a different charitable organization almost every spring and fall. Since the first Pay It Forward program began in 2011, the library has donated about 150 smaller items like hats, scarves and mittens, more than 50 shawls and 10 adult-sized Afghan blankets to those in need. Project Linus, the library's selected organization for spring, provides security to children in need through distributing new, handmade and washable blankets. For more information, go to projectlinus.org.
Another upcoming spring program will provide comfort to homeless cats and dogs through the creation of blankets and toys. Teens in 6th through 12th grade can make fleece blankets for cats and toys out of T-shirts for dogs during a program from 4 to 5:30 p.m. April 29 at Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave. Blankets and toys will be donated to a local humane society. Teens also can earn community service hours if they participate in the program. Fleece will be provided, but participants should bring two old T-shirts.
"I am excited to be hosting this program because it gives the teens a chance to give back to their community. They love to do crafts, and this is a program that allows them to share their passion with animals in need," Kiersten Doucette, Teen Services librarian, said, adding that this is the first time the library is offering the program. "I am thrilled the Teen Advisory Group Team wanted to have a program like this."