Have you heard about Project Linus? The organization provides a sense of warmth and security by providing handmade blankets to children who are seriously ill or traumatized.
“Project Linus is an example of a grassroots change effort. The founder, Karen Loucks Baker, saw a need for change (the need for blankets) and worked to create this change,” said Amanda Loewen, instructor and applied learning coordinator.
Learning about grassroots change
To teach her students at Globe University-Appleton about the concept of grassroots change in Global Citizenship, Amanda organized a unique applied learning project. The project incorporated learning about a grassroots organization, Project Linus, and a hands-on component that would provide the organization with some of their very own handmade blankets.
“The students will be making a connection between this project and meeting a need in the community. They are learning about socially responsible citizenship in this class,” Amanda said.
A personal experience
Ann Hintz, dean of education, shared her own experience with Project Linus with the class. Ann’s youngest daughter, Shelby, was diagnosed with RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) when she was not yet seven weeks old. RSV is a virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages. It can cause serious complications. After being instructed to go to the hospital, somehow Shelby’s blanket got lost in transit.
All hope was not lost. “In the metal crib in the hospital room was a soft, snuggly blanket. The tag on the blanket indicated it was from Project Linus. I was happy that Shelby would have something warm and comfy in the sterile hospital room,” shared Ann.
Students become blanketeers
After learning about Project Linus and hearing Ann’s personal experience with the organization, the students got to work. They created four tie blankets out of fleece material. Amanda commented, “They were engaged in the project and enthusiastic about the cause. They did a fantastic job!”
Student Chelsea Johnson said, “With this experience I will remind myself that even throughout my busy life, I will take a step back and do something for someone else every once in a while.”
Ann Hintz said, “I love that we are partnering with this organization. The fact that Globe can give back to others in similar situations makes me proud of the organization we work for. That blanket will forever be special to Shelby, and I want others to have that feeling of safety, security and comfort she gets from it every day as well. I love that what we are doing here, on the campus level, is staying in our community and helping others.”
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