(Note: The following was written by one of our Blanketeers, Jeanne Sapunor.)
The Humboldt County Chapter of Project Linus, a non-profit organization providing “security through blankets,” is slated to receive a $500 donation from Soroptimist International (SI) Humboldt Bay chapter, thanks in part to the fund raising effort and dancing talents of Cooper Avila,10,of McKinleyville.
Through his GoFundMe page,(https://www.gofundme.com/f/cooper-avila-high-heels-for-healing), Cooper posted his tap routine to “Do You Love Me” by The Contours. A student at Pacific Union in Arcata, he put his dance number online, in lieu of performing it live at “High Heels for Healing,” Soroptimists’ annual fundraiser that was cancelled due to COVID restrictions. To date, he has raised $5,650 for the SI Club Giving Fund. For his successful fundraising, Soroptimist asked him to choose a few organizations from their applicant list that he felt should receive a cash award. One of the organizations Cooper selected Humboldt Project Linus, he said, because he knows most children have a favorite blanket and he could relate to other children needing a homemade blanket to call their own. While he can relate to Linus and his beloved security blanket, Cooper said his favorite “Peanuts” character is Snoopy.
To acknowledge Cooper’s generous spirit, kind heart and hard work, Humboldt Project Linus wanted to honor Cooper with a handmade blanket. Volunteer Robin Ibara of Fortuna dipped into her personal fabric stash to make Cooper a quilt with a music motif in his favorite colors of red, white and black.
“We can make a lot of beautiful blankets with $500, and Cooper’s thoughtfulness will be stitched into each one,” said Nancy Corral, Project Linus Chapter Coordinator, adding that the Soroptimist donation will go towards the purchase of batting, fabric, yarn and other materials volunteers can choose to use for their blanket creations.
Since its founding in May 2018, Humboldt County Project Linus has distributed 854 new homemade blankets to 21 local agencies working with children from birth to age 18 who are ill or undergoing some type of challenging situation. Although they have not been able to meet for monthly Saturday sew-alongs since COVID restrictions began in March, 15 regular blanketeers are contributing blankets at a steady pace. Forty-eight blankets were delivered in September to local children, including some who had been displaced by recent fires. Anyone interested in learning more about Project Linus can find information at humprojectlinus.org or you can contact the Chapter Coordinator at (707)444-2473.
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