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Karen Loucks Rinedollar » Aurora

Community Bands to Support Aurora Shooting Victims, Friends & Families!

Project Linus will be sponsoring a community bonding, Blanket Making Blitz tomorrow (Sunday, July 22) from 1-4pm in Parker and Littleton. This response to Friday’s tragedy is two fold- to provide comfort to those directly traumatized by the shooting and the second is to bring the Denver community together with a unified goal. 
Founder Karen Loucks Rinedollar said, “We learned during the Columbine crisis how vitally important it is to the healing process for people to feel they are making a difference. The lesson that we learned back in 1999 is coming back to assist with this latest round of violence that has the Denver community in a current state of stunned shock.” Project Linus was able to deliver over 1600 blankets to the student of Columbine.
The two locations tomorrow are The Parker Library and 5604 S. Lee Street (near Kipling and Bowles) in Littleton. Participants are asked to bring polar fleece and sharp sewing sheers (paper scissors are too blunt for the fleece). A public Facebook invite has more details at!/events/151969914940068/
The organization was founded in Parker in 1995 to provide handmade security blankets to seriously ill and traumatized children made by the community. Since that time, 370 chapters of Project Linus have formed nationwide and over 4.2 million blankets have been delivered to children in need of comfort worldwide. Now you can be part of the solution.

Aurora Shooting brings back Memories of Columbine


Denver awoke yesterday morning to the chilling news that “it” had happened again in our community. Another horrific act of violence was deloaded on a group of innocents. A rush of memories of Columbine immediately started to cloud my mind. Isn’t it amazing how the brain can store such memories for times it’s needed?

Project Linus got its first opportunity to assist with a large sized emergency in April 1999. As the hometown of Project Linus, we had been able to assist other chapters while they dealt with the aftermath of hurricanes, tornadoes and other such events. Now, here was such an event, in our own backyard.

Like all the seemingly pointless exercises we have had to endure since childhood- fire drills, duck and covers, airplane air mask explanations- our training came in handy when the chips were down. We were able to draw on our experience and jump into action. A three day community quilting bee was quickly coordinated whose results are still felt to this day, 13 years later. Each of the 1600 students who attended Columbine were presented with a Project Linus blanket along with many teacher’s families. It is still a common occurance when I’m giving a talk about Project Linus and Making a Difference for someone in the audience to share their Columbine blanket story.

We learned many helpful lessons through that event. Most of all, how much people want to help. With a little guidance, they are more than happy to make it happen. Hundreds of pairs of helping hands- men, women & children- assisted with the making of the blankets. Stores and companies stepped forward with an endless supply of energy sustaining food.

Like all things in life, when you give to others, you can’t help but receive in return. It seems to be the nature of the Universe. Repeatedly, participants of this event came up to thank Project Linus for creating an event that they could tangibly work out their grief. By being able to put hands to work, they were able to assist with both the Columbine student’s as well as their own grieving process.

Because of lessons learned from Columbine, we are going to have another emergency quilting bee. This time it will start a 3 hour event on Sunday, July 22nd from 1-4pm. We are still securing a location however you can start preparing. We are asking that people bring 1 1/2 to 2 yards pieces of new,  polar fleece. Most of the blankets will be going to teens so more mature themed fabrics are preferred. You will also need to bring sharp sewing shears as regular paper scissors don’t cut this fabric well as result in extra time and sore hands. Sewing shears actually will cut like a knife through butter.

If you have connections to a large meeting room- community center, church or library, please drop us a line asap as we would like to cement details of this event to help our community heal, again. For those who are more inclined, we need assistance defraying costs. A tax free monetary donation can be sent to Project Linus Denver Chapter, 20450 Oakbrook Lane, Parker, CO. 80138