Students from the Santa Clarita Valley chapter of Project Linus organized and facilitated a drive-thru blanket drop-off event Saturday in the parking lot of the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center.
It’s the first Make a Blanket Day event hosted by the student-run nonprofit, which doubles as a class at the Academy of the Canyons, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Now we’ve modified our events to what you see today, which is a drop-off event where it’s touch-free,” said Harrison Little, a high school senior and the chapter’s president, noting that the 15 students in the parking lot were being backed up by students at home logging donations and reviewing forms on their computers.
Before the pandemic, Project Linus would bring the community together in the gym at College of the Canyons’ Valencia campus where they would make the blankets in person, Little said.
“We’re hoping to stock up our supplies again, because during all of COVID we’ve been helping to donate to our beneficiaries,” he said. “But our stock has been running low. So, with the new supplies of blankets, we’ll be able to stock up and continue to do our donations throughout the summer.”
The blankets collected through Saturday’s event will help critically ill and traumatized children, according to Justin Almeida, an AOC junior and the nonprofits public relations director.
He estimated that their drive-thru blanket drop-off had collected between 100 and 150 blankets in its first two hours.
“This year, the group’s goal is to outfit every Wellness Center at schools across the Santa Clarita Valley with blankets for students who feel as though they need some support and a sense of comfort,” according to the event press release.
Sharon Garvar is the SCV chapter’s coordinator and the students’ teacher. She was present at Saturday morning’s event and said her class enables the students to learn valuable life lessons and business principles through Project Linus.
In the eight years since the chapter started, her students have donated more than 15,000 blankets, including the 500 that were locally made for students who experienced the Saugus High School shooting in 2019, she said.
“We’re constantly serving people all year round,” said Garvar, noting that anyone can donate a blanket to Project Linus at the Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts in Canyon Country at any time. On Saturday, Garvar said that based on the interest received before the event, SCV Project Linus expected to receive more than 300 blankets.
For more information about Project Linus, visit scvprojectlinus.org.