VACAVILLE — The local chapter of Project Linus was able to start the new year in a new location as its members met Sunday at the Church of the Epiphany.
“This is just the answer to our prayers,” said Betsy Walker of Vacaville.
The church at 300 West St. donated a room last month for the growing group to use during its regular meeting. Now the “blanketeers” have ample space to make and sort blanket bundles for children in need.
After the group’s Sunday meeting, Coordinator Laura Proctor announced the collection of 200 blankets that will be distributed to children in Solano County.
She also said some new groups have joined the effort. Kaiser Permanente’s Birthing Center and Support Our Cancer Kids started participating this year. Last year, the chapter added Vacaville Police dispatchers, the ALDEA Group, Marigold fire victims, Babies First, the Healthy Babies Program and the Black Infant Health Program to the list of participants.
In its fifth year, the chapter has donated 5,728 hand-made blankets.
Proctor said new volunteers have recently emerged to help.
“What we’re finding are many people coming, who maybe haven’t been before, who want to give back to the community,” she said.
Vacaville resident Patricia Duarte, 80, joined the group three years ago.
“There was about 12 in the group when I first joined, and it has gotten larger and larger,” she said.
Duarte has lived in Vacaville since 1961. It might not be a stretch to credit baseball for her participation with Project Linus.
“My husband is a Giants fan, and I asked Laura to teach me how to crochet,” she said. “And I made him a Giants blanket.”
The England native learned to knit at 6 years old. She was prepared to teach the skill to Proctor, who instead asked Duarte to make one blanket for Project Linus.
That was only the beginning.
“Now this is a nice group of friends like my friends in England,” she said.
The local chapter of Project Linus will meet next month at 1 p.m. Feb. 9.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/solanoprojectlinus.
Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.