By Ukee Washington

LUMBERTON, N.J., (CBS) –Say the name Linus and who do you think of? Probably the Peanuts character who was always holding his blanket. The people behind Project Linus call themselves “blanketeers,” and it’s easy to see why.

Once a month, Marianne McCarthy’s Lumberton house is transformed into a blanket factory and warehouse.

“Altogether, there’s almost a thousand blankets in my house right now,” Marianne said.

Marianne is just one of hundreds of volunteers for Project Linus, a nationwide non-profit that collects blankets and distributes them anywhere children are sick or traumatized: Hospitals, homeless shelters, clinics.

“When that child wraps that blanket around them, it’s that person reaching out and giving that child a hug to say, ‘You’re loved.'”

Whether wool or fleece, every security blanket is homemade. Volunteers clean up any rough edges and attach a Project Linus label and a card.

Volunteer Mary Ellen Delussey said, “So it makes it just something special for somebody on maybe a day that isn’t so great.”

When Grace and Shawn Clothier were born prematurely, they got blankets from Project Linus. Now they’re 13 years old, and making blankets for other children.

“A lot of people, you don’t realize what they are going through,” Grace said. “It makes you feel like you’re doing something good for that person.”

Other ways to help: donating fabric or yarn, or money for shipping. Blankets are heavy. “Typically sending thirty blankets is usually about $100 in shipping. Easily.”

So she’s looking for angels ready to pay for a box of hugs.

There are several Project Linus chapters in our area. To find one in your area, click here:

Watch & Listen LIVE