[KHTS] – Santa Clarita Valley residents visiting the Westfield Valencia Town Center on Saturday had the opportunity to volunteer their time to make blankets for children in need of comfort.
Volunteers from the Santa Clarita chapter of the national nonprofit organization Project Linus set up a station by Red Robin and Sears inside the mall in an effort to get community members involved with their cause.
“We make blankets for critically ill and traumatized kids and children of fallen soldiers,” said Sharon Garvar, the Santa Clarita chapter coordinator. “We’ve been open a year and have delivered about 1,000 blankets.”
Saturday’s event was run by high school students from Academy of the Canyons who are enrolled in a class called nonprofit ventures.
Garvar first brought the idea to them after her son received a blanket in the NICU in West Hills after he was born with pneumonia.
“I didn’t get to see him for two days, but when I did he was snuggling up into a blanket that I’d never seen before. Attached to it was a poem talking about Project Linus,” she said. “I brought the project to my students and said i wanted to pay this (West Hills) chapter back that had given us a blanket and inspired us. The kids got on board and we made 100 blankets in the first three months.”
The Santa Clarita chapter currently helps children in the Santa Clarita Valley, Sylmar and Antelope Valley, she said.
“Project Linus is a volunteer nonprofit organization with a two-fold mission,” read a statement on their website. “First, it is our mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer ‘blanketeers.’
“Second, it is our mission to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.”