Sunday, January 25, 2009

Project Linus also in trouble

I got this from Mary from Homespun Helpers:

FROM HQ - URGENT - We need your help!
Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:42 am (PST)
Dear Coordinator Friends,

On Friday of last week we mailed (via snail mail) a letter to each of you regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The letter contains information regarding how you can help us get our message to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the House Energy and Commerce Committee and others who can make a difference. We desperately need Congress to clarify the law in regards to charities. The consequences of the law to Project Linus could be extraordinary; if the potential liability to our organization cannot be minimized or eliminated, we may have no choice but to disband.

We are asking all friends of Project Linus to write letters in support of Project Linus. We need to ask Congress to act swiftly to clarify this law and make reasonable exclusions in their interpretation of the law as they continue the rulemaking process.

Mary and I have drafted a letter that you are welcome to copy and paste (fill in the blanks as indicated) and send to your congress person, senator, the Consumer Product Safety Commission or Committee on Energy and Commerce members. Some can be sent via e-mail, but if you are not in the district of the congress person or senator you may need to send your letter to them via snail mail. Whatever you can do to help will be most appreciated.

There is a lot more information included in the letter that is on its way to you. Please watch for it in your mail and read it carefully. It contains contact information for the CPSC and the House Committee and others.

To locate the contact information for your congress person go to

To locate the contact information for your US Senator go to

HERE IS THE SAMPLE LETTER, if you would like to use it:
Bill Number H.R.4040 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
From: [your name and address]
To: [your congress person or senator]
Re: The Consumer Product Improvement Act (CPSIA) clarification regarding charities requested
Dear [your congress person, senator, CPSC or Committee on Energy and Commerce members],

As a volunteer and supporter of Project Linus, a 501c3 National Non-profit organization, I am very concerned about the effect the Consumer Product Improvement Act (CPSIA) H.R. 4040 will have on our organization as of February 10, 2009. Like many people, I was deeply concerned by the dangerous and poisonous toys that large Chinese toy manufacturers have been selling to our families. I was pleased that Congress acted quickly to protect America's children by enacting the CPSIA.

However, I am very concerned that the CPSIA's mandates for third party testing and labeling could have a dramatic and negative effect on our charity (Project Linus). For your information, we distribute as gifts, handmade blankets to seriously ill and traumatized children across the country. (See for more information.) We have chapters in all 50 states, have donated almost 3,000,000 blankets and our safety record has always been exemplary. If charities such as ours are not exempt from this Act the closure of our organization will devastate the hospitals, shelters, police and fire departments and other social service agencies who give our blankets as gifts to children going through a crisis. In addition it will also take away the opportunity that our volunteers have been given, which is to offer service to these children through their blanketmaking skills.

Project Linus does not sell its blankets. They are all given as gifts to children ages 0-18. We are the consumer and not a retailer or seller however the current wording in the CPSIA can be interpreted to include organizations such as ours. We are a charity and would never have the funds to submit each blanket made by our volunteers to the expensive testing required. As our new President has encouraged us to volunteer and perform acts of service, it would be devastating to approximately 60,000 volunteers such as myself who have been making blankets for Project Linus, to have our organization closed due to the CPSIA.

I urge you to quickly request the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Committee on Energy and Commerce to make some very reasonable exclusions in their interpretation of the law as they continue their rulemaking process. This would include exempting nonprofit
organizations and charities who do not retail their products.

Thank you for your attention with regard to this matter.
[your name]

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Sigh. I get so tired of the knee jerk reaction. In the name of someone thinking their protecting people, their hurting far more than they have the potential to protect. But, I thought I'd read this has been put to bed, so to speak. That is did not apply to non consumer groups, which I though all charitable giving was separate from.

How sad,