Students champion charitable efforts through crochet
A group of students are using their crafty craniums to help those in need.
Crochet for Charity, a class started by Karen Jones for SPEAR, a Christ-centered homeschool support group, is made up of six students ranging from sixth to eighth graders. The students spend their class time crocheting blankets, scarves, hats and more for various nonprofit organizations.
Recently the group donated 26 blankets to Project Linus, an organization that collects handmade blankets for children who are critically ill or in desperate need of a donated “security” blanket.
“I like that you can make things for other people,” Gracie Timms, 12, said while crocheting a multi-colored blanket Monday. “It’s a creative way to spend your time. I always like to keep my hands moving so it’s a great way to help other people too.”
The group is currently working on making more blankets for Project Linus and will then venture onto making baby hats and booties for the Catherine Foundation Pregnancy Care Center in Waldorf. At the beginning of the school year, the made washcloths for Operation Christmas Child, a Christian humanitarian aid organization that collects filled shoeboxes from around the country and delivers them to children in war-torn countries.
“I’ve been crocheting for years and I always wanted to use that for something good but with three kids I never got around to it,” Jones said of her desire to start the class. “I taught a crochet class a few years ago and it was really well received. I wanted to do this for me and the kids to use their crafting abilities to do something positive, not just for gifts for their friends and family but to do something to impact the community.”
The class operates Monday afternoons out of South Potomac Church in White Plains. SPEAR, South Potomac Educational Alternative Resource, serves the families of the church and Charles County community. The co-op, which is made up of 225 students, is approved as an Umbrella School with the Maryland State Board of Education.
Ashlyn Nabakowski, 12, was a crochet novice before taking this class and said she is happy to have learned a new skill.
“I wanted to learn how to crochet because I’d never done it before and I like the idea of giving these to kids in need,” Nabakowski said while working on her seventh blanket.
The class also provides the students with service learning hours they need for various requirements.
Helena Kijesky, 11, said she has been able to acquire service project hours for American Heritage Girls, a Christian-based scouting organization she is a part of.
Michael Cross, 12, son of co-teacher Karen Cross, said though his mom signed him up for the class, he is glad to be a part of it because he was able to get back into the skill he learned seven years ago.
“I really like it now,” Michael said.
“My hope is that they’ll realize that one person can make a difference and I hope it inspires them to know that you don’t have to spend hours in a specific location to help others,” Jones said. “Even as a kid you can help someone with just some yarn and a hook. I hope it inspires them to branch out and do more things for more people.”
Ashley Nabakowski, 21, far left, Gracie Timms, 12, and Michael Cross, 12 crochet blankets for Project Linus as part of their Crochet for Charity class through the SPEAR homeschool support group.
Rebecca Coles, 14, works on a blanket with help from Karen Cross, co-teacher of Crochet for Charity.
Michael Cross crochets a blanket as part of Crochet for Charity, a class at the SPEAR homeschool support group that teaches students how to crochet and donates the items to various charities.
Gracie Timms, 12, crochets a blanket for Project Linus, an organization that collects handmade blankets for children who are critically ill or in need of a "security" blanket.