In March 2021, when the pandemic was still raging, a Sai volunteer in Albany, NY, searched online for a service project that her granddaughter could participate in. She came across Project Linus, a non-profit organization, that provides new handmade blankets to children in need. These blankets are lovingly made by volunteers from all walks of life, both adults and children alike.

The Sai Center member reached out to the coordinator of the Albany chapter of Project Linus. And so began the blanket service by members of the Sri Sathya Sai Center of Albany. They came together to lovingly make blankets for children of ages ranging from 1 month to 18 years, many of whom were either seriously ill or traumatized or orphaned. The service was not only for a worthy cause benefitting children in need, but also turned out to be a fun activity for those who enjoyed crafts. The Center members have so far made 250 blankets for Project Linus. They have now expanded the service, providing another 95 blankets for the Alpha Pregnancy Center.

The service has primarily been carried out by the SSE (Sai Spiritual Education) teachers, SSE children (as young as 8 years of age) and women members of the Albany Sai Center. However, a few men have also stepped into help. The activity has been truly rewarding for them, especially since they know these blankets will eventually be used by children in distressed conditions. While making the blankets, the group engages in devotional singing or spiritual chants, weaving in loving thoughts and heartfelt well wishes for the recipients of the blankets. The Project Linus coordinator shared, “sometimes the only thing that the children can call their own is this blanket”. This not only touched and brought tears to many in the group, but also inspired them to make this an ongoing project.

The Sai Center members have also demonstrated the process of making blankets to other SSSIO members across the USA during a service retreat. Information on creating Project Linus blankets and resources required is easily available online, and chapters exist in many cities across the USA.