By Cherri Gregg

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  Ten years ago, Janet Geissler (at left in photo) didn’t know how to knit or crochet, but she knew she wanted to help children. Geissler got involved with Project Linus, a nonprofit group that gives blankets to kids dealing with trauma.

It changed her life.

“These are kids that have lost a parent, a brother, a sister,” she says. “It just feels so good to be able to help a child in need.”

Geissler leads the Philadelphia chapter of Project Linus, and during her tenure they’ve donated 22,000 blankets.   Every months she delivers blankets to Children Hospital of Philadelphia, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, and Camp Erin.

And since she started, Geissler says, she’s learned how to knit, crochet, and quilt, and uses her newfound talents to make blankets she donates through Project Linus.

“Quilts can take months to make,” she notes, “but we get a hundred a year.  And over the years, I think I’ve made several hundred blankets — and it’s worth it.”

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Geissler says the blankets offer comfort and support for kids who “need a hug.”  They also donate them to help during disasters or to others who need them.

“Some of the comments that I get from people who have received the blanket is that it becomes their child’s favorite blanket,” she says. “It just makes you feel good.”

And because she knows she can’t do it alone, Geissler often calls on her coworkers at Prudential, her neighbors, friends, and other volunteers to knit, crochet, or make fleece blankets.  She also works with numerous senior homes and churches to make the blankets.

Geissler organized a Global Project Volunteer Day at Prudential, with the company awarding challenge grants to aid Project Linus.

“We never meet the kids, we’ll never know them,” she says, “but it’s a good feeling of being able to make a child feel better.”

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