First Stage shares the holiday spirit beyond the stage with Project Linus

Throughout the performance run of First Stage’s holiday play, A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, audiences are invited to bring a donation for the Milwaukee chapter of Project Linus. Project Linus is a volunteer, non-profit organization, whose mission is to provide a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill or traumatized through gifts of new, handmade blankets lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers”. As of October 31, Project Linus’s Milwaukee chapter alone has donated over 17,000 blankets to those children in need.

Blankets donated to Project Linus must be new, handmade and washable. All styles are welcome; they may be knitted, crocheted, woven, quilted, or made of fleece. Blankets can be any color, particularly those colors and patterns that appeal to both younger and older children.  Used or store-bought blankets are not accepted. Ideas and patterns are found on the organization’s website. Blankets should be smoke and pet-hair free, as many of the children who receive them have compromised immune systems.  

Blankets of the following standard sizes are needed:
  •         24" X 24”
  •          24" X 36"
  •          36" X 45”
  •          40" x 60"
Look for the collection bin in the lobby of the Marcus Center’s Todd Wehr Theater during performances of A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS. Families are welcome to bring their handmade blanket donations to the theater during performances, or to the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, located at 325 W. Walnut Street, Milwaukee. The collection will continue throughout the run of the play, November 27, 2015 - January 3, 2016.

“First Stage is thrilled to partner with Project Linus on this special initiative to reach and help even more young people in our community,” said Lucia Lozano, First Stage’s community engagement manager. “The connection to our holiday production is fitting, and coincides with the true meaning of Christmas that our audiences will see Charlie Brown himself exploring in the play.”

Once the blankets are collected, the donations receive a special Project Linus label, and then they are delivered to the facilities and individuals.
 “The blankets are so beautiful, and I know there are many children who have been comforted by them,” said Rebecca Neuwirth, Milwaukee area coordinator for Project Linus. “Individuals and groups in the area have been so very generous with their time and skills.  As we continue to grow, we will continue to provide blankets to more children throughout the area. Each and every one of us can make a difference in the life of a child in need,” Neuwirth continued.

For more information on Project Linus, including blanket patterns and other requirements, please visit

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