Photo by Heather Middleton
By Linda Looney-Bond
The Augustin Clayton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) donated 20 blankets -- which members of the group made from patterned fabric -- to the Clayton County Police Department on Monday, to be given to traumatized children.
Members of the organization presented the fleece blankets to Clayton County Police Chief Jeff Turner, in conjunction with Project Linus.
Project Linus is a nationwide program that was created to "provide a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need, through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer 'blanketeers'," according to a statement issued by GlenNeta Griffin, community relations specialist for the Clayton County Police Department.
The project's mission is to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children, Griffin said.
The project was named for the "Peanuts" character, Linus, who carries a security blanket, according to Elizabeth Grimes, registrar and membership chairperson for the Daughters of the American Revolution's Augustin Clayton Chapter.
Formed in 1973, the Augustin Clayton Chapter was named for the late Georgia attorney, debater, Superior Court judge and legislator, Augustin S. Clayton, for whom Clayton County was named, according to Grimes.
Members of the Sons of the American Revolution, Marquis de Lafayette Chapter, which includes members from several metro-Atlanta counties including Fayette and Fulton, helped make the blankets, along with members of the Children of the American Revolution, Button Gwinnett Chapter, according to Grimes.
"We definitely appreciate the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution for making this donation to us, and we definitely will put it to good use," said Turner.
"We're delighted and pleased that you chose us to give them to," Turner told Grimes during the presentation Monday. "As you know, we work cases every day involving children, and to have something like that, it makes a difference to give them a little security and a little warmth.
"In a lot of situations, you just have seconds to grab something and flee out the house, or from a bad situation," he added. "We're first responders, first ones on the scene, and a lot of times we show up and have to look for something to wrap kids in, or even adults."
Turner said the blankets will be distributed to the police department's Crimes Against Children Unit and to uniform patrol units as well.
Grimes said the blankets are durable, and washable.
She said this is the first time the Augustin Clayton Chapter has participated in "Project Linus" in the 10 years since she has been a member. She said the group will continue to participate in the effort.
"The police department goes into the homes and removes them [children] from violent situations," Grimes said. "Even in the case of fire, sometimes, there are children that have to get out and have nothing but the clothes on their backs, and sometimes just their pajamas, not even a coat," she said.
"They're [blankets] so portable, and ... especially the younger kids, when they're taken out quickly, they do cry, and it's something to give them that they don't have to give back. They can take it with them wherever they go," said Clayton County Police Capt. Becky Bridgeman, of the Crimes Against Children Unit. "And sometimes they do have to get moved from one place to another, until they can get more stable," she said.
The Daughters of the American Revolution is a national, nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., that was founded in 1890, according to the organization's web site.