|Stitches from the Heart members knit and crochet blankets, baby booties and other items to donate to Neighborhood Care Clinic in Seattle and Eastside Baby Corner in Issaquah.
Photo courtesy of Debbie Friend Haynes
Ask any parent and they can tell you: babies require a lot of stuff. In addition to bottles and diapers, there are booties, sweaters and blankets – just to name a few things. Fortunately for new parents who may struggle in providing basic necessities to their children, there is a group of retirees willing to lend a hand.
Stitches from the Heart, a club comprised of residents at Covenant Shores, a faith-based, not-for-profit, continuing care retirement community administered by Covenant Retirement Communities, handcrafts one-of-a-kind baby hats, booties, sweaters and blankets for families in need.
Baby items are made throughout the year, and then divided up in September and January and taken to two donation sites: Neighborhood Care Clinic in Seattle and Eastside Baby Corner in Issaquah. Last year, club members handmade and donated 706 booties, blankets and other baby items. Since the club began in 2006, more than 2,300 items have been donated to these agencies that care for low-income families.
“The residents at Covenant Shores are very dedicated in their efforts to help individuals in the community who are struggling,” says Bruce Erickson, Executive Director of Covenant Shores. “The Stitches from the Heart club is a long-standing tradition here, and it is a great example of how active our residents are in community outreach.”
Embracing crafters who knit, crochet and quilt, resident Joyce Hedges, 84, started the club when she moved to the senior living community in 2006. It was an activity she has participated in since 2001, and believed like-minded individuals at Covenant Shores would also appreciate.
“It’s a lot of fun and is pleasant to do,” Hedges says. “We don’t all have grandchildren we can knit for anymore, so this is an outlet for what we enjoy doing.”
Hedges says that there are about a dozen dedicated ladies who are extremely qualified in their craft that are active participants in the club, but everyone is willing to help someone new to the knit one, purl two concepts.
“We help each other,” Hedges says. “Most of the work is done at home, and showing up to the meetings isn’t a requirement. When we get together it is to share patterns and ideas and we make a lot of noise and have fun.”
Most of the washable acrylic and nylon yarn used by Stitches from the Heart is donated from family members of knitters who have passed away. It is a generous gift that continues to give, she says.
For more information about Covenant Shores, please visit www.covenantshores.org, or call 877-591-0465.
About Covenant Shores
Covenant Shores, a faith-based, not-for-profit, continuing care retirement community, is located at 9150 Fortuna Drive, Mercer Island, Wash. It is administered by Covenant Retirement Communities, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit senior services providers. Covenant Retirement Communities serves 5,000 residents at 12 retirement communities nationwide and is a ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church. For more information on Covenant Shores, call 877–385-8613 or visit www.covenantshores.org.