Grunion Gazette – May 24, 2001


      As a pregnant teenager in a group home many years ago, Amanda Hunt received a hand-made blanket.  She said it gave her both physical and mental comfor.
     Now an adult and a mother of three, Hunt still remembers that comfort when she sees that blanket, and wants others to feel it as well.  She is the East Long Beach coordinator of Binky Patrol, a non-profit organization whose members make blankets to give to needy children and teens.
     Laguna Beach resident Susan Finch started Binky Patrol in 1996.  The organization today has 160 chapters nationwide and has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and honored as a Daily Point of Life by the Points of Light Foundation.
     There are local Binky Patrol chapters in Lakewood, Los Alamitos and North Long Beach.  Hunt started the East Long Beach Chapter in October.
     “The reason I wanted to join in is because I was in a group home when I was a pregnant teen,” Hunt said.  “I was given a hand-made blanet.  I couldn’t believe someone spent time making this for a stranger.”
     “I like being able to give back, feel connected to people.  It’s really fullfilling to me.”
     Right now the east Long Beach chapter of Binky Patrol is small, consisting of only Hunt, her mother Carmen Herrera, and three other people.  Hunt said she is looking for donations, volunteers to make blankets, and events where children and adults can decorate plain white fabric squares to form a blanket.  Experience in sewing, crocheting or quilting blankets isn’t necessary.
     “I know how to crochet and I’m learning how to quilt, ” Hunt said,  “my squares are kind of off, but the kids don’t care.  As long as it’s bright and fun.”
     The chapter has 15 blankets made but has yet to distribute them.  Hunt said once there is a large enough collection she wants to donate some to the East Long Beach Police Division.
     Officers can give them to children they help.  She said the North Long Beach Binky Patrol did that with the North Long Beach Police Divison.
     To help the fledging East Long Beach Binky Patrol, call Hunt at 562-961-8536.  or email her at