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Tuesday, September 20, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Blanket-making event set for Oct. 1

Seattle Times staff reporter

Two Sammamish sisters are organizing a 24-hour blanket-making marathon Oct. 1 at the Qwest Field Event Center to benefit survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

Lori Manna, 31, and Shellie Paola, 25, came up with the idea while volunteering for Project Linus, a nonprofit that makes blankets for sick kids.

Manna said she and her sister are hoping to make at least 1,000 blankets, but reaching the goal will depend on how many volunteers show up and how many supplies they can acquire.

"We don't know if that's possible, but it will really depend on the community," she said.

The sisters have secured a number of donations from local fabric stores and Project Linus, but Manna said they will need much more to reach their goal.

People with sewing machines and those who can crochet or knit are needed, Manna said, but so are volunteers who don't know how to thread a needle. She said there will be many needs, from ironing to sweeping, and any amount of time a person can give is welcome.

The two sisters and the woman who runs their chapter of Project Linus will be there the full 24 hours. Food will be available, thanks to Dominos, Blazing Bagels and Coca-Cola, Manna said.

The sisters have arranged for Project Linus chapters in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas to deliver the blankets to shelters.

Those interested in participating or donating can go to www.geocities.com/blanket_marathon/index.html to learn more and register. Manna said registration isn't required, but it will help with planning.

The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, to 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2. Parking will be available in the Qwest Field garage.

Donation requests online

Nonprofit agencies and schools that are supporting survivors of Hurricane Katrina can post their specific donation needs on a new Web site set up by United Way of King County.

Agencies can request donations of everything from baby formula to shoes at www.uwkc.org by clicking on the "Hurricane Relief Adopt-A-Family" link. Individuals, businesses and other organizations can go online to see what is needed and provide the items.

Liahann Bannerman, director of the volunteer center for the agency, said requests should be as specific as possible. She gave the example of "clothing 15-year-old girl, size 10," in a written statement.

The site was launched Thursday and had 35 postings for needed donations as of yesterday, said Patrick Kelley, spokesman for the agency. He said all requests are the sole responsibility of the organization that posts them and should be removed after donations are made.

For more information, contact the United Way of King County at volunteers@uwkc.org or 206-461-3700.

Vanessa Renée Casavant: 206-464-2761 vcasavant@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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