Lindsey McWaters, 3, cuddles one of the blankets donated by the Binky Patrol …
A year after she had learned how to sew, Christina McWaters decided she was going to
make one blanket and donate it to a worthy cause.
But when the 31-year-old
makes blankets for children, she decided to start a local chapter.
“I thought it was a really good idea “and it was something simple.”
McWaters said. “You don’t have to have a lot of skill to create binkies.”
A national nonprofit organization, Binky Patrol makes and gives handmade blankets to
babies born HIV-positive or drug-addicted and children ages 18 and under who are
abused, in shelters or foster care.
McWaters said the idea to start a Binky Patrol chapter “which is the only in
came about while surfing the Internet.
“I just got into sewing last year, and there was a Web site my mother told me to go to
because it had different craft patterns, and there was a link to charity craft paths,”
It was through the charity links McWaters found Binky Patrol. Founded by
“Sewing has become a stress reliever for me” said McWaters, who is also a stay-at-home
mother of a 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son and an
Blankets don’t have to be a certain type either. As long as it’s handmade and soft, they
will be accepted, McWaters said. They can be crocheted, quilted and knitted and anything
up to twin size will be accepted, she said.
“If somebody’s getting started, and they have a blanket and think nobody would want this,
there’s somebody who would want it,” McWaters said.
McWaters said the Patrol isn’t looking for perfect blankets.
“I hope people realize I’m not looking for glorious, prize-winning blankets but if they want
to donate one, that’s fine,” McWaters said.
Before she received the OK from Patrol headquarters to start the group, McWaters said
she already had interest from the community from individuals and quilting groups.
“It’s a hobby people are doing anyway, and now they know it will go to a child who needs
it,” McWaters said.
Locally, the SEMO “Blanketeers” plans to deliver to area shelters, hospitals and area
residents. McWaters said she would like to give blankets to local police officers to give to
children in emergencies.
“There are children in foster care that go from house to house and don’t have anything
permanent or any grounding,” McWaters said. “Well, this blanket is theirs. Nobody can
take it from them.”
Each blanket will contain a label stating it’s been donated by Binky Patrol.
The process to start the chapter was fairly easy, McWaters said. She just filled out a
questionnaire and received a packet of information including a handbook about nonprofit
SEMO Binky Patrol will hold monthly meetings once a place to have them is donated,
McWaters said. The purpose of the meetings is so volunteers can come by and pick up
materials so they won’t have pay the expenses on their own.
“We are just getting started so I’m looking for volunteers, or “Blanketeers” as we call
them. We are also looking for donations of fabric, yarn, batting and of course if someone
wants to donate money for the purchase of these items that would be great too,”
McWaters said, adding donations are tax- deductible.
The chapter’s goal is to become self-sufficient so headquarters, which will supply materials
to chapters, won’t have to help, McWaters said.
And the extra work it takes to run the chapter doesn’t compare to the benefits it will
provide, McWaters said.
“I have two children, and I love them dearly,” McWaters said. “They get hugs and kisses
from me every day, but there are children out there who don’t have that. At least when
they wrap themselves in these blankets, it’s like I’m giving them the hugs.”
For more information, contact McWaters at (573) 667-9955