April 3, 2000 – No. 1608

What is a Daily Point of Light Award?

Every year, almost half of the American population volunteers their time, talent and energy to help others, to solve local problems and to build stronger communities. It is through the dedicated work of volunteers that people – especially young people – are being given a chance for a brighter future.

The connections they build exemplify the best in us: a sense of caring and responsibility for others, a commitment to service and a demonstration of citizenship. While their actions go largely unrecognized, volunteers are truly America’s unsung heroes.

The Daily Points of Light Awards are designed to honor those who have made a commitment to connect Americans through service to help meet critical needs in their communities, especially focused on the goals for children and youth set by the President’s Summit for America’s Future.

The program is sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation, the Corporation for National Service and the Knights of Columbus, with full program funding provided by the Knights of Columbus.

It was an honor to receive this award. Our volunteers have worked so hard. The recognition is not ever necessary, but very much appreciated.

This was the press release the Points Of Light Foundation sent out for Binky Patrol:

Binky Patrol, a non-profit organization, began as a small local group in Southern California in 1996. Volunteers with Binky Patrol create hand made blankets or “binkies” to give to children in need of comfort. The binkies are given to children with AIDS or other life threatening or terminal illnesses, victims of abuse, children in foster care, or children in homeless shelters.

There are now more than 5,000 volunteers at Binky Patrol who have delivered more than 75,000 binkies to date. After being mentioned on the Oprah Winfrey show and a small feature in Family Circle magazine, Binky Patrol quickly became a national organization.

Binky Patrol has been operating completely on individual donations and corporate sponsorships. There is an annual “Bink-a-thon” to build up the supply of binkies and to raise community awareness of the program. Binky Patrol receives donations of fabric from businesses such as St. John Knit, True Grit and other local fabric and upholstery businesses. WellPrint of Tustin, California and Commpro also in Tustin, have helped to offset the rising costs of printing, stationary, and technical support for the website. Binky Patrol is fortunate that JC Carter Ground Fueling of Costa Mesa, California has donated shipping for three years to provide donated fabric to chapters across the country without monetary resources.

A large percentage of Binky Patrol volunteers are senior citizens. These volunteers say over and over that being able to sew, knit, or crochet binkies gives them a purpose. In many cases, these activities are the only things that they are still able to do despite physical limitations. Another growing group is that of students. Children from age four to ten are enjoying helping to make blankets for sick kids or ones without moms and dads. They take it to the simplest factor and understand how important these handmade blankets are to kids just like them.

Binky Patrol is a union between children that feel disconnected and along, and the volunteers that have a desire to make a difference in the life of someone in need. Since every binky is handmade, every stitch is evidence that there is someone out there with love in his or her heart that cares.

Binky Patrol is an outreach program that is built on caring, compassionate individuals. The volunteers give selflessly and go beyond the call of duty in their desire to make this world a better place.