While cruising around the world aboard the Holland America MS Amsterdam, over 80 passengers have come together to do something extraordinary. They’re taking part in a program called Project Linus which is allowing them to come together, meet new people and make new friends, all while creating hundreds of blankets which will be distributed to children in need.
What Is Project Linus?
If you’re unfamiliar with Project Linus, don’t beat yourself up too much… I’ll admit that until very recently, I was equally uninformed. As it turns out, the non-profit organization has been around since 1995 and has, in that time, donated literally millions of blankets as part of their mission to “provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need.” And if when you think of “blankets” and the Peanuts character Linus, you’ve just figured out exactly where the organization got its name.
I first heard of Project Linus when we received an E-mail from Marty Gottlieb of Jacksonville, Florida, who said that he and his wife were heading up a group of about 80 guests on the Holland America World Cruise who were knitting and crocheting blankets for the cause. “We started cruising in 1998,” Marty later told me, explaining that after having sailed on both Carnival and Princess, they eventually began doing longer trips on Holland America after retiring.
“We prefer Holland America because of their wonderful crew,” he explained, “and we consider their 15 ships our second home. Many people have beach, lake or mountain homes, we have floating ships. We cruise over 220 days a year, bringing many comforts of home with us.” Between journeys, they spend about two months visiting their grandkids, swinging by to see the doctor and then restocking for their next trip!
How It All Comes Together
Photos courtesy of Marty Gottlieb
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