HUDSON — For the millions of children across the nation who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need, a blanket can be much more than that.

A handmade blanket can provide not only warmth, but also security, comfort and love. And through a national partnership, JOANN of Hudson and Project Linus are aiming to wrap this support around every child who needs it most.

Through an exclusive partnership, more than 350 JOANN stores nationwide, including the Hudson location, are now designated collection points for Project Linus, which has donated more than 7 million blankets to children in need since 1995. It is now easier and more convenient than ever to get involved, as customers can purchase their material or yarn, work on their project in a store classroom, and confidently donate their blanket, all in one location.

"One in three items made by our customers is given away to those in need, and that includes millions of blankets and quilts each year," said Stephen Caution, vice president of business development at JOANN. "Many of our customers are already involved with their local Project Linus chapters, and evolving this into a national partnership means we can unite and contribute even more. We know Project Linus will get these handmade gifts to children who need them most, and we’re proud to get our stores and customers involved in this cause."

Those making consistently for the organization can receive specially reduced pricing on fleece and yarn through the JOANN+ program, which has allowed the organization to nearly triple the amount of blankets they make at the same cost. But regardless if a customer makes one or 100 blankets for Project Linus, they can be sure they are making a difference.

"We founded Project Linus to help children we may never even meet, using our hands and hearts," said Patty Gregory, National President of Project Linus. "We believe the love and intention our ‘blanketeers’ put into these blankets allow us to give each child a hug, wherever they are. Our volunteers are already purchasing fabric and supplies in JOANN stores, so to bring it full circle and involve JOANN from start to finish is an exciting opportunity for all of us."

The partnership will kick off with a fun opportunity to get more people involved in the cause, even if they’ve never created a blanket before. On Feb. 16, Project Linus and JOANN ask customers to consider joining the national Make a Blanket Day along with thousands of other blanketeers nationwide. The day will feature a free no-sew blanket-making event in all JOANN stores from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Blankets will be donated to local charities including Project Linus.

To find details on Make a Blanket Day, visit joann.com/hands-on-events. For a list of stores that are designated collection locations, visit joann.com/project-linus.