5 April, 2005
MAHWAH, N.J. - April 5, 2005 - Janome America sewing machine dealers across the country collected nearly 40,000 handmade blankets for this year's Project Linus National Make a Blanket Day. The sixth annual event was held at Janome dealerships nationwide on Feb. 19. The blankets were donated to Project Linus, a non-profit organization that distributes new, handmade, washable blankets to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. This marked Janome's third year participating in the fundraiser.
A total of 272 Janome dealers in 44 states took part in this year's event, many bringing in hundreds of blankets. RG Kramer's Sew-n-Vac East in Cincinnati, Ohio, collected a record 1,640 blankets with the help of the local sewing community. Other success stories included Bob's Sewing and Vacuum Center in Albuquerque, NM, with 802 blankets; The Edwards Sewing Center in Fort Wayne, Ind., with 702 blankets; and Domestic Sewing Center in Warren, Ohio, which collected 680 blankets. Another half-dozen dealers each brought in 500 or more blankets. In Bend, Ore., one woman single-handedly sewed 170 blankets, delivering them to Cynthia's Sewing Center.
Project Linus representatives will distribute the blankets to children's hospitals, fire departments and family service organizations. Wherever possible, the blankets remain in the area in which they were created.
Sewing clubs, quilt guilds, school groups, and community members across the country took part in the event, contributing time, effort, and donations of yarns, fabrics, batting and notions for the fundraiser. Every person who donated a blanket was entered in a drawing at their participating dealership to win a Janome DC3050 computerized sewing machine, a model ideal for creating any kind of home dÈcor or sewing project. Each Janome dealer gave away at least one machine.
At Middlebury Sew N Vac in Middlebury, Vt., the winner of the sewing machine was a stay at home father of five who loves to sew. The winner from Domestic Sewing produced 26 blankets on her 1963 sewing machine; she promised to double next year's output on her new machine!
Randy Thomas, Senior Vice President for Janome, was extremely pleased with the outcome of this year's fundraiser. "For the third year in a row, our dealers have overwhelmed us with their enthusiasm for this project," he said. "We are so grateful to be able to play a role in this wonderful endeavor that benefits all parties involved."
Carol Babbitt, President of Project Linus, was delighted as well. "With another very successful National Make A Blanket Day behind us, we are again so thankful for the partnership and support of Janome America and its dealers across the country," stated Babbitt. "Every blanket collected means another child can receive comfort and security when they are most in need. The results of this national event will bring a warm hug to nearly 40,000 children, a bright moment in an otherwise dark day."
Janome and Project Linus have committed to working together for National Make a Blanket Day in 2006, which will fall on Feb. 18. Janome dealers will get an earlier start for the 2006 event, with the kick-off taking place at the Project Linus Annual Conference in June. This earlier start date will give dealers the opportunity to host numerous sewing days and collect blankets throughout the year.
Janome America is the largest subsidiary of Janome Sewing Machine Company of Japan, which produces more than one million sewing machines annually as well as a line of related sewing products and embroidery software.
With chapters in all 50 states, Project Linus is a 100% volunteer organization that has collected and distributed more than 1.2 million blankets to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies, or anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug.
For more information outside www.janome.com, visit www.projectlinus.org.