Caribou NHS students donate over 150 ‘Linus’ blankets

13 years ago

By Barbara Scott
Staff Writer

Earlier last month members of the Caribou High School National Honor Society participated in the statewide NHS “Project Linus” Program. Project Linus is a non-profit organization that collects homemade blankets which are given to severely ill children, ages from infancy to age 18.

BS- Linus-CLR-dc1-AR-3Aroostook Republican photo/Barb Scott
Cole Sirois and Caleb Chapman stand infront of the Project Linus poster, created by Jenna Selander.

The idea for the National Honor Societies across Maine to contribute to this organization was developed by the Maine NHS executive board. Caribou High School NHS member Ezra Duplissie-Cyr, the northern regional representative on the executive board, volunteered to contact members of the organization’s Maine Chapter, who presented him with project ideas and suggestions on how to make the blankets.

According to Duplissie-Cyr, “ The style of blanket that we decided on was a single-ply with a two-sided strip and pulled edges. The double-ply style was deemed to be too heavy for severely ill children.”

The Caribou chapter of the NHS raised $445 for this project. The vast majority of these funds came from an effort by the local NHS members to help move a faculty member into a new home. This particular fundraiser was organized by NHS member Caleb Chapman.

The balance of the $445 came from a seed grant and other contributions. “The $445 that we raised allowed our chapter to purchase 183 yards of fleece fabric, scissors and seam rippers at Wal-Mart in Presque Isle,” said Dupplissie-Cyr. “The Wal-Mart corporation is a major sponsor of Project Linus and offered a 20 percent discount to all participants in the program regarding the purchase of fabric.”

BS-Linus-CLR-dc2-AR-3Aroostook Republican photo/Barb Scott
Laura Collins, left, and Demarre Doody-Corriveau were elbow-deep in their comfortable work, constructing blankets for Project Linus.

The NHS members originally planned to make the blankets over a period of two months, with all of the finished fleece blankets being completed by the schools’ February vacation week. However, the chapter members had completed more than 150 blankets within a two-week period, each member having finished the fabrication of at least one blanket, with one members, Kelly Kashian, fabricating 20.

Christian Sleeper, Caribou NHS president stated, “This project is the most exciting one that we, as a chapter, have participated in.”

Project Linus has also created a bit of competition between the Caribou NHS members, as they raced to see who could complete a blanket in the shortest amount of time — Kelly Kashian currently holds the record of 17 minutes and one second.

This project, with NHS chapters participating throughout Aroostook County and the rest of the state will continue until March 1. Anyone wishing to contribute to this cause should contact Kenneth Atcheson, NHS advisor, at 493-4260  for more details.

BS-Linus-CLR-dc4-AR-3Aroostook Republican photo/Barb Scott
Kenneth Atcheson, advisor to the Caribou NHS, supervises as students make blankets for Project Linus.