Date(s) - December 6, 2022
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Wentworth School Cafeteria
Homeless Memorial Blanket Project Coordinators to Gather Blankets in Scarborough on the 6th of December
SCARBOROUGH, MAINE— The Homeless Memorial Blanket Project, a nationwide effort to encourage and compile homemade blankets for distribution to unhoused individuals and families, is going to be in Scarborough on December 6th gathering the blankets made by local knitters, crocheters and quilters to be donated to the project. The Drop Off site for southern Maine is the Wentworth School in Scarborough, 20 Quentin Drive from 8am to 10 am that morning. Pat LaMarche, the national coordinator for the event, will be available to the press during that time.
The blankets assembled from all over the country will be displayed on the West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington DC on Wednesday December 21st. When the display is disassembled, the blankets will be distributed to families and individuals in dire need during the winter.
Pat LaMarche, founder of the project says: “I’m so excited to get home to Maine and talk with folks about their work on the project. Artisans – with an enormous talent and an equal capacity for caring – have devoted countless hours to create gifts of warmth.”
One of those artisans, Christine Albert of Portland, says: “During the pandemic I saw that The Charles Bruce Foundation was asking people to make blankets for the unhoused population in Carlisle, PA. At the time I was not able to make a blanket to donate so when the project went national this year I decided to get involved.
Housing insecurity impacts Mainers of all ages, including students I teach and have taught over the years. When basic needs like shelter are unpredictable students aren’t available for learning, instead they are worried.
I reached out to friends, family, and colleagues through social media in an effort to gather handmade blankets. The Memorial Blanket Project asks folks to donate handmade blankets for an installation on the West Lawn of the US Capitol in an effort to bring attention to housing insecurity. The Maine blankets will then be distributed to housing insecure Mainers. Handmade blankets take time, energy, commitment, and love – they give the maker an opportunity to think about people who are experiencing homelessness. We want the receivers of these blankets to know they are worth the time taken to have something beautiful created just for them, that they are loved. Mainers have responded by knitting, crocheting, and quilting the most incredible blankets. I’m so grateful to Pat LaMarche for creating this group and asking me to help.”
The Homeless Memorial Blanket Project is aiming for a total of at least 500 blankets (9000 square feet), contributed by participants in every state and territory, for the display on Dec. 21 with the goal of raising public awareness of people without adequate housing.
The project has participants in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Volunteers in each state are being asked to make at least 100 blankets, providing ten for the Capitol Lawn display and donating another 90 or more to outreach programs in their area.
Typical blankets dimensions are 45″ x 80″ and 60″ x 80″ with a variety of fabrics, fibers, and colors.
Some states have begun to charter buses to bring participants to Washington DC for the Dec. 21 display.
The Homeless Memorial Blanket Project is hosted by the Charles Bruce Foundation (https://charlesbrucefoundation.com), which is located in central Pennsylvania. The Dec. 21 display will be an arts installation by this nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
Anyone interested in participating can sign up for their state at https://memorialblanket.org.
“Homeless Memorial Blanket Project puts a spotlight on housing insecurity”
The AFRO (Washington DC), November 6, 2022
Press release: Collection of blankets begins at a DC church in preparation for the Homeless #MemorialBlanket display on Dec. 21
October 26, 2022
Press release: Pennsylvania housing advocate invites donations of blanket squares for the Homeless Memorial Blanket Project
September 12, 2022
Homeless Memorial Blanket Project on Facebook (national group)
To find a state Facebook group, type Homeless Remembrance Blanket and the state’s name in Search
Nonprofit Seeks Artisans Across US to Help the Unhoused
Daily Kos, February 6, 2022