Helping hands
New knitting, crochet group hopes to give comfort to the homeless and ill
by E. Assata Wright
Reporter Staff Writer
May 05, 2013 | 3837 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Throughout this year, Knitting for Good volunteers will make items the group hopes to donate later to the homeless and sick.
Throughout this year, Knitting for Good volunteers will make items the group hopes to donate later to the homeless and sick.
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Every year, usually around the holidays, local shelters and volunteer groups make a request for donations of “gently used” clothing for the city’s homeless population. Despite their pleas, however, what they get from the community can include everything from brand new to “ready for the trash can.”

Believing that everyone deserves warm clothing that has not been well worn by someone else, Jersey City resident Deborah Pierce and her daughter Alyssa Pierce in February founded Knitting for Good, a church-based knitting circle that will teach participants to knit or crochet. Throughout this year the knitting group will create handmade scarves, hats, blankets and other items for hospitalized children and Jersey City’s homeless residents.

“Knitting for Good is a project that was really started by my mother, who has been knitting for as long as I can remember, more years than I can count,” said Alyssa Pierce. “She became a member of Waterfront Community Church and the pastor, Pastor Don Egan, suggested that she use her talents to create something that we can get the community involved in to do something good…We now teach people to knit and crochet and whatever items they create will either go to helping the homeless on the street, AIDS babies, or animal shelters.”

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They believe everyone deserves warm clothing that has not been well worn by someone else.

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At present, Knitting for Good, which meets at St. John’s Lutheran Church and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, has about 20 regular members. The group is joint project of St. John’s, St. Paul’s, and Waterfront Community Church. Pierce said the group hopes to knit or crochet dozens of items that can be donated to local charity groups by the end of the year.

The group meets every other Saturday morning at 10 a.m. The group meets next on Saturday, May 11 at St. John’s, 140 North St.

Giving back to the community

The group’s volunteers are free to create items based on their own original designs or patterns. They also may pull from the organization’s diverse collection of suggested patterns that, Pierce said, can accommodate needle artists of any skill level.

While the group is currently trying to recruit people to increase its membership, Pierce noted that the organization is always in need of donations of yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks, and knitting notions, and welcomes donations of these items.

The organization has already benefitted from these types of donations, said Pierce.

“We’re like any other knitting circle, only with the greater purpose of creating community and benefitting the community with donations,” said Pierce.

Already the volunteers have completed four baby blankets, several hats, and a large number of scarves.

Opens with a prayer

While the group is “faith-based,” Pierce said Knitting for Good is open to needle crafters of all faiths, although participants should be aware that each knitting circle begins with a brief prayer.

For more information on Knitting for Good, visit

http://www.waterfrontcommunitychurch.com or

https://www.facebook.com/KnittingForGood. Interested residents can also e-mail

knittingforgood@yahoo.com.

E-mail E. Assata Wright at awright@hudsonreporter.com.

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