The Transylvania Times -

By Matt McGregor
Staff Writer 

Police Department Welcomes Project Linus - Brevard, NC


May 1, 2017

Brevard Police Chief Phil Harris accepts a donation of blankets and sock animals handmade by the Beta Club students at Brevard Middle School as a part of "Project Linus," a nationwide program to comfort children during difficult times.

Brevard Middle's School's Beta Club delivered student-crafted blankets and sock animals to the Brevard Police Department last Thursday as a part of "Project Linus."

"We spent many hours creating summer-weight and winter-weight blankets and sock animals," said Melissa Howell, eighth-grade Beta Club sponsor and math teacher. "Our goal was one blanket in each police car."

The purpose of Project Linus is to provide comfort to children in times of stress, including, in this case, when they could be interacting with police as the result of parents having been in an accident, or caught in other legal issues, and, as Howell put it, "these kids could be having the worst day ever."

"Students were instructed many times as they worked on this that it didn't matter what the end product looked like, just that it was done with lots of love," Howell said.

Howell said students worked during school, after school and for homework.

"In fact, one young man came in a week before to learn the basics of sewing, so that he could practice before he started," Howell said.

Howell said she continued to conduct math class while working on the project, and many times she said it looked as if a "craft bomb had exploded."

At last count, the class had made 26 blankets and 16 sock animals.

"Our goal was one blanket per police car, and we know you have 16 police cars, but it looks like we have exceeded our goal," Howell said.

Police Chief Phil Harris accepted the gifts.

"There are times when this job seems thankless," Harris said, "and sometimes I wonder if we are connecting, but when you do things like this, it gives the department the feeling that we are making a difference, and it means a lot to us."

Harris said that the Beta Club's gift also presents new ideas for service.

"Often when we go to scenes, we use the tools we have available," Harris said, "When you bring us things like this, it gives us another tool, and really, in a lot of ways, it teaches us a new way for us to serve our community."


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