Person of the Week
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Ellen Knoefel

Updated: Friday, December 27 2013, 07:10 PM EST

Sometimes a simple hug can be more comforting than words. Our Person of the Week leads a group of women who have given tens of thousands of hugs over the years. They come in the form of a blankets made by hand. The children who receive them are getting them at times in their young lives when they are needed the most.

Project Linus is a non-profit made of volunteers that brings in blankets they've been making by hand. Blankets for children going through illness or trauma in their lives in the hospital. Creations to cover their bodies, but more importantly to comfort their minds and hearts.

Coordinating this creative effort in Western North Carolina and giving more than 13,000 hours of her time is Ellen Knoefel.

For every blanket logged, labeled, checked, measured and bagged, there is a child who will one day have it for their own. Sometimes these Linus ladies get letters from grateful parents. For this volunteer, none is more meaningful than the one received from a mother who would not live to see her little girl grow up, Shelbie Wilkie.

In time, each blanket eventually ends up with it's own story. But most of these women will never know them. What they do know is that with a warm blanket made with loving hands, life just got a little better for whoever receives it. 
With each blanket straight from the heart comes a poem for each child:

" I hope it will keep you warm and befriend you at night.
I hope you'll come to love it and be comforted by it's sight.
Let this blanket wrap you in friendship and cover you in love.
Because this blanket was thinking of you long before it was even done."

To learn more or to join Project Linus, click here.

Ellen Knoefel

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