VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK: Knitwits helping the world one stitch at a time
Published 8:00 am Sunday, January 30, 2022
This week’s Vicksburg Post Volunteer of the Week is a local group known as the Knitwits. The Knitwits is a group of women that meets once a week to crochet various items and donate them to local, state and national charitable locations and healthcare organizations.
Editor’s Note: The Knitwits, pictured above, responded to the questions below as a group.
How did you hear about these organizations needing knitted garments?
The Knitwits have been meeting since 2007. We are a group of retired women plus Jessica and her teenage daughter, Hannah, who came together to enjoy each other’s company and share a hobby. We decided to first of all make prayer shawls for women who are sick; then we added afghans for men. On each piece, we include a prayer for healing. The group grew from five to 12 within a couple of years so we decided to make “hug rugs” (afghans) for the children at Blair Batson hospital. Still, we completed so many projects that we expanded to include other groups like the Warren County Children’s Shelter, Crisis Pregnancy Center, hospice, the cancer clinic, Yazoo Manna House and caps for those who work on the river. Caps were also sent to children in New York, Alaska and Arizona. This past Christmas, we made 303 scarves and hats for our local nursing homes. Olivia Lee is our main hat-maker and she added about 100 hats to other local organizations.
What is your favorite memory while volunteering?
Special memories? Well, one Knitwit remembered how welcomed she felt at her first meeting and how everyone was so helpful in teaching her how to crochet. Yes, we actually crochet rather than knit, so this is why we are appropriately called Knitwits. We limit our group to 12 because of the space available in our homes, and it makes for better conversations. We share laughs, food, worries and prayers. It is a good support group. There have been many sweet grateful notes that have inspired us. A young girl who received a Hug Rug gave it to her grandmother who was living in a nursing home. Within a few months, her grandmother died and the girl once again had the Hug Rug to always remember her grandmother.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?
We would certainly suggest volunteering for others, especially in retirement. It is an excellent way to lift your spirits by feeling productive and to see how a little effort can bring so much joy to others. It is a good way to form new friendships. Remember, you always get more than you give. When we meet we laugh, especially at senior moments. There is no gossiping, arguing or complaining other than to do it with a laugh. We share worries and help each other out in whatever way we can.
What have you learned from volunteering and donating to various organizations?
We have learned that, although we can not change things in a big way, we can “light that one little candle that can change the darkness.” (A line from The Christopher’s). Learning often comes with creativity particularly when we make mistakes. Janey says that, “if you make a mistake, just continue doing it and it becomes a pattern.” In all, we have donated approximately 650 Hug Rugs, 200 scarves, more than 200 shawls, almost 2,000 hats and many bonnets and toys that Jessica and Hannah make. We donate projects for silent auctions in town.
Our motto is “a prayer in every stitch.”
If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.