A child’s multicoloured blanket hangs on the wall as a reminder in Angie Garcia’s living room.
Just a little over a year ago, Garcia and her then 12-year-old son Kynan spent two weeks in a Saskatoon crisis shelter after fleeing an abusive relationship.
The shelter gave her son the blanket, which he kept when they relocated to Red Deer last year. Sometime after they moved, Garcia took a closer look at the blanket.
A small tag with a picture of the Peanuts cartoon character Linus read, “Made with tender loving for Project Linus.”
Project Linus chapters in Canada and the United States provide children in crisis with homemade blankets. Garcia said the organization holds a special meaning to her.
“I like to sew and I want to give back,” said Garcia. “It hit me when I saw the tag, that there’s a place that takes blankets and I started making them.”
In early December, she became the project co-ordinator for the Project Linus Red Deer chapter.
Garcia is on a personal mission to bring blankets and security to children in Central Alberta. She has enlisted friends and volunteers to make or collect blankets for the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter (C.A.W.E.S) and other organizations.
“I know what it’s like to be in a shelter,” she said. “It’s not a happy place.”
Recently she dropped off 20 blankets that were donated to Project Linus.
“They will be wrapped up with a stuffed animal and a coloring book and crayons,” said Garcia, 47, “So the kids will have something to open on Christmas morning.”
Garcia said whenever she looks at her son’s blanket she feels strong. She wants other women to know it’s not too late to start life over again. The blankets, she said, bring love and security in a time of crisis.
“I just want other kids to feel good. I think that no child deserves a sad childhood,” said Garcia.
Project Linus volunteers hope to raise awareness by singing Christmas carols on Wednesday evening in the Bower neighbourhood. Everyone is welcomed to join the Christmas fun. The group will meet at the Bower Place Shopping Centre at 6 p.m. before departing at 6:30 p.m. Donations of blankets or cash will be accepted. For more information visit http://projectlinus.yolasite.com/ or contact Garcia at 403-986-2133.
— copyright Red Deer Advocate