College Athletes Make Blankets for Waterford Place

Aurora University students continue Project Linus tradition
Aurora University student athletes donated blankets to Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center

Student athletes at Aurora University are known for more than their athletic skills. They’re also known for their generosity to the community. For 21 years, athletes at the school have participated in Project Linus, making handmade blankets to donate to local organizations. This year, they gave 92 blankets to Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center, which provides services and support to anyone affected by cancer at no cost to the participant. 

The mission of Project Linus is to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to those who are ill through the gifts of new, handmade blankets, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.” At the university, the event is sponsored by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

The committee pre-orders the fleece and cuts it ahead of time. Then on assembly day, they block off the university gym from noon to 1 p.m., and hundreds of student athletes converge to finish the fleece tie blankets by making the ties. To help fund the project, each student donates a dollar or two.

“There’s not an empty spot,” says Morgan Stenson, assistant athletic director. The students fill all the tables and overflow onto the floor. 

It is important to the student athletes at the Division III school to be more than athletes, she explains. They want to show their support outside of the university. “They see the bigger picture and the effect they can have on the community when they come together in numbers,” she says.

Omar Ramos, program development and operations manager at Waterford Place, says it’s “amazing” to see students inspired to give back to their community.

“The Linus Project initiative at Aurora University offers tangible support to families navigating a cancer diagnosis by providing blankets to keep patients warm during treatment,” he says. “Beyond mere warmth, these blankets symbolize solidarity, reminding families that they are not alone in their journey with cancer.”

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