In this season of celebrating mothers, I want to tell you about one special gift my mother shares with people. My mother learned how to knit when she was young and over the years she even taught other people to knit, including me. These days she spends most of her time knitting. My mother has Alzheimer’s so she relies on my dad to remember their plans for the day, take care of meals, and so much more. One thing my mother remembers without fail is how to knit. She can make three or four scarves in one day provided they are not too busy running errands or going to appointments.
She gives boxes of scarves away to the local food pantry as well as children’s ministries in their area, and I have even brought dozens of them back to my church. In Michigan where she lives and in Ohio where I am, warm scarves are an important item for the winter season. She gladly knits and even more delightedly shares her knitting with others by giving them away. I have started searching for yarn at thrift stores and shopping the sales to add to her collection. Holiday and birthday gift giving has become easy in many ways.
So how does this translate into something we can use in our schools? Is there a nursing home near your school or a retirement facility within your district? Do retirees have a gathering place near your institution? Perhaps you can make a connection with those agencies to share the needs you have and discuss ways you can work together to help your students. They might have a handful of people who could knit or crochet scarves for your students. Maybe the school could do a yarn drive or collect other kinds of supplies (fleece fabric, knitting needles, etc.) for the residents to make items for the students. This could be another good way to connect our schools with our communities.
--Katherine Reichley, CEOE