August 23, 2000

Karigon School Bink-a-Thon on Martin
Luther King Jr. Day.  Georgette Galvin, BP
volunteer, quilts a quilt from blocks
drawn by the children.
Saratoga Springs– Kids find security in blankets sewn by volunteers

Dayle Gruder of Stillwater is seeking people who are experienced in sewing to help children in need of security blankets. She’s establishing a Binky Patrol.

Binky is a slang word for “security object,’ said Gruder. Binkies are blankets that children latch onto for comfort. They use them to keep warm, travel with them, hold them at night and stroke the edges before nodding off to sleep.

The local chapter of Binky Patrol is part of a national organization that started in California through which donations of handmade blankets are made to organizations that deal with traumatized and seriously ill children. The children are given the blankets to keep, she said.

Volunteers pin tops to back and batting at BAT.

Homeless and women’s shelters and seriously ill children are especially in need of blankets. The blankets will also be donated to pregnant teens for their babies.

Gruder has already called several nonprofits in the community and has offered to provide them with blankets.

Now, she needs to hear from people willing to donate cotton fabric, thread, yarn and batting, as well as from volunteers willing to make and help assemble handmade baby blankets and larger quilts in their own homes.

Binkies can be crocheted or quilted.

She has already donated 18 blankets to domestic violence services and several to the Mechanicville Area Community Center and Catholic Charities.

The blanket project sprang up in Denver with Project Linus, said Gruder, who organized an Internet quilting group and through that, heard about the Binky Patrol.

Project Linus delivered more than 200,000 security blankets to children around the world and has more than 350 chapters. Originally targeting pediatric cancer patients, Project Linus broadened its focus aiming toward seriously ill or traumatized children.

“First, I call organizations and ask if blankets can be used for their children,’ she said. She keeps a list and rotates the recipients.

In this area, blankets will be donated to hospitals with sick children and premature infants. The blankets can be as small as 14 inches by 14 inches up to the size of a twin-size comforter.

“I made five quilts and am working on one now,’ Gruder said. “Several people have helped. One volunteer who is 92 years old has already made three quilts.’

Greyhound Rescue recently donated a roll of batting.

Since Saratoga Center for Children and Families has asked for blankets, she would like to be able to meet its needs.

She recommends using all-cotton fabrics for the quilts because it is soft for the children.

If interested in sewing or making donations to the Binky Patrol, call Gruder at 664-5271.

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