Charity knitters gather in groups all over the world to share their passion for the craft. Friendships are created. Knitting knowledge is shared, with no expectations in return. These special folks come together for a variety of projects from baby hats to hats for the homeless, sweaters for orphans, helmet liners for soldiers, prayer shawls for the sick and hurting, crocheted water filter covers and even knitted prosthetics for breast cancer patients. The list goes on and on. This is nothing new, charity knitting and crocheting has gone on since the craft was born.
My grandmother told me tales of knitting for soldiers during WWII. She and her friends knitted bandages, socks, gloves, and mufflers. She told me of helping her mother roll knitted bandages for “what seemed like forever”.
The American National Red Cross supplied a Garment Manuel complete with knitting patterns to be referenced by groups and committees. A national knitting campaign was launched to supply both soldiers and wartime refugees warm clothing.
The times have changed. The needs have changed, but one thing has not. Knitters see a need and tirelessly donate their time and resources to meet those needs. Communities of folks all over the globe gather to work on projects, encourage each other, share valuable tips and keep up on the next crucial need. Why do they do this? In part, it is the vision for making the world a better place, offering care and comfort to those who need it, and being productive. Sometimes it just seems like a tangible way to show others they are not forgotten, that they matter.
Groups meet in homes, churches, libraries, yarn shops, schools, senior centers and coffee shops. Busy hands create, wisdom is shared, stories are told and friendships are formed, connecting people who share the love of the craft. Then comes the realization that the joy in giving to others is likely the greatest reward of all.
Next week we will feature just one organization that is making a difference in the lives of women one stitch at a time. Out of one woman’s personal tragedy came a world wide effort to help make life a little bit better.