Friday, May 11, 2012

Knitting for Charity

The Bay Lakes Knitting Guild of Green Bay, Wisconsin has several charitable projects: chemo caps and baby hats for hospitals drive these knitting activities. A new endeavor this year has been establishing a knitting group at the Bellevue Retirement Community, an independent and assisted living facility here in town. The project at Bellevue started in January, and upwards of a dozen residents there meet every other week to knit and chat. Two or three Bay Lakes Knitting Guild members attend the sessions, to help, to encourage, and underscore this important group activity. Without guild involvement the Bellevue knitters probably would not have come together.

The guild introduced the knitters there to our charitable knitting projects, and one of the residents has turned out more than 30 baby hats for the newborns at St. Vincent's Hospital here in Green Bay. We provide her with the yarn, and she just knits her fingers to the bone. Each time I walk into the Community Room at Bellevue, the first thing I see is a row of five cute, little white hats that remind me of the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Last night at the guild's annual picnic I was able to present the guild with 18 of these little tot toppers, all knit by the same woman at Bellevue.

What has been the results of this senior citizen knitting project?

  • The meetings have brought residents together. Rather than staying in their rooms, they have been thrown together with other seniors with like interests.
  • They have rediscovered the art of knitting, something several of them had not done in years.
  • They are producing items to donate to others. Often seniors are only on the receiving end of life, but knitting has provided them with an opportunity to give.
  • They have an activity now to fill their sometimes long and lonely days.
If you are in a guild or club somewhere that is looking for an outreach project, I encourage you to look at senior facilities in your area. Contact the activities director and see if they would welcome your involvement. You will be all the richer for it. I know I am.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful idea. My mom lived in a senior community, although not an assisted living facility. She was the "president" of the crochet club. The members of her club crocheted dozens and dozens of lap robes for others of their generation who were in nursing homes and hospitals.
    My aunt is currently in a nursing home. The majority of the residents, including my aunt are very advanced in age. Sadly, probably most of them do not have the mental capability required to resume a craft which I bet a lot of them had the skills to do at one time.