Gregory Couch, of Kent Island, recently donated handmade blankets to UM Shore Regional Health’s Shore Emergency Center in Queenstown and Shore Medical Center in Chestertown through his newly opened chapter of Project Linus. These blankets will be used primarily for young children who come in to medical facilities under harsh circumstances and need comfort.
The 11-year old 5th grader at Bayside Elementary School began looking for ways he could help his community through volunteer work. He and his mom, Kimberly Couch, looked at different charities in which children can be involved. They soon found Project Linus and realized there was not a chapter for the mid-shore of Maryland.
In April 2016, with the help of his mom, Gregory opened a chapter that covers Caroline, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties where they support blanket drives and donate their homemade blankets. Gregory has given presentations to all four County Councils and has also met with local Girl Scout leadership to engage them in getting involved with Project Linus.
“We are gracious for the hard work and effort Gregory puts into helping out the community through Project Linus,” says Mary Alice Vanhoy, manager of the UM Shore Emergency Center at Queenstown and the ED at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. “We have many frightened children come through our emergency departments after unfortunate circumstances and these blankets offer a sense of comfort when they really need it.”
Project Linus is a non-profit organization represented by chapters covering all 50 states. Volunteers or “blanketeers” create blanket drives, make the blankets and then donate them to healthcare facilities where there may be children in need of warmth and comfort.
“My goal is to bring comfort to kids around the area that are in need,” said Gregory. “I am happy to have helped out my community and thank anyone who has helped us along the way.”
More information about Project Linus and volunteering with the mid-shore chapter may be obtained by visiting www.projectlinus.org, or calling Kimberly Couch at 410 924-2488.
About UM Shore Regional Health: As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s team of more than 2,600 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers work with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.