Blanket Project helps those escaping domestic abuse
By PAMELA GRANT
Escaping a domestic abuse situation can be extremely difficult and stressful, but volunteers with The Blanket Project hope to offer them a little bit of comfort and support with the gift of a homemade fleece blanket.
Volunteers with The Blanket Project meet Mondays from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Copperas Cove Public Library’s meeting room to work on crafting simple but cute homemade blankets. Those interested in helping are invited to participate in any upcoming classes.
Michelle Neil started The Blanket Project, Inc., a 501c3, in 2020. Neil is a domestic abuse survivor herself. After escaping her own situation, she wanted to serve and did so as a part of Project Linus which gives blankets to needy children. From there, she came up with The Blanket Project.
Volunteers with The Blanket Project hand-tie fleece blankets and donate those blankets towards directly helping survivors of and those escaping from domestic abuse situations.
“A lot of domestic abuse survivors leave with nothing but the clothes they are wearing,” said Neil. She added that there are groups that provide them with food and/or hygiene items, but “They don’t receive anything that is personal.”
Neil said that she was able to take her belongings when she left her own situation but knows that receiving a handmade blanket like the ones provided by her group can help a lot with keeping a person grounded. It can help with fighting off depression, and it can bring comfort.
“I’ve always thought of blankets as a hug,” said Neil.
“I love doing arts and crafts,” said Dee Todd, who attended Monday’s blanket making session. “It’s a good way to get out and meet people while doing something good…It means a lot getting something that is handmade and knowing that someone has gone through the effort of making it for you.”
The Blanket Project has provided more than 1,000 blankets to domestic abuse survivors since its beginning, and provided 456 blankets last year.
The group is continuing to grow. Neil started the project in her hometown in Florida (which has a goal of making at least 800 blankets this year) and is now working to establish a group in Copperas Cove.
The Cove group will continue to meet at the Copperas Cove Public Library on Mondays from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. All ages are welcome, and they can work with interested groups. High school students can participate to earn service hours as well. Those interested in learning more about The Blanket Project can find them on Facebook or at https://theblanketproject.org/
They are also accepting financial donations or donations of fleece for the blankets.