CARIBOU, Maine — Earlier last month, members of the Caribou High School National Honor Society participated in the statewide NHS “Project Linus” Program. Project Linus is a nonprofit organization that collects homemade blankets that are given to severely ill children from infancy to age 18.
The idea for the National Honor Societies across Maine to contribute to this organization originated with the Maine NHS executive board. Caribou High School NHS member Ezra Duplissie-Cyr, the northern regional representative on the executive board, volunteered to get in touch with members of the organization’s Maine Chapter, who presented him with project ideas and suggestions on how to make the blankets.
“The style of blanket that we decided on was a single-ply with a two-sided strip and pulled edges. The double-ply style was deemed to be too heavy for severely ill children,” Said Duplissie-Cyr.
The Caribou chapter of the NHS raised $445 for the project. The majority of funds came from an effort by the local NHS members to help move a faculty member into a new home. This particular fundraiser was organized by NHS member Caleb Chapman.
The balance of the $445 came from a seed grant and other contributions.
“The $445 that we raised allowed our chapter to purchase 183 yards of fleece fabric, scissors and seam rippers at Walmart in Presque Isle,” said Duplissie-Cyr. “The Wal-Mart corporation is a major sponsor of Project Linus and offered a 20 percent discount to all participants in the program regarding the purchase of fabric.”
The NHS members originally planned to make the blankets over two months, with the fleece blankets being completed by the school’s February vacation week. However, the chapter members completed more than 150 blankets in two weeks, each member having finished at least one blanket, with one, Kelly Kashian, making 20.
“This project is the most exciting one that we, as a chapter, have participated in,” said Christian Sleeper, Caribou NHS president.
Project Linus also created competition among Caribou NHS members, as they raced to see who could complete a blanket in the shortest time. Kelly Kashian holds the record of 17 minutes and one second.
This project, with NHS chapters participating throughout Aroostook County and the rest of the state, will continue until March 1. Anyone who wants to contribute to the cause should call Kenneth Atcheson, NHS adviser, at 493-4260 for more details.