‘Helping humanity’: Senior centers use crafting skills to give back

The Tempe Needlewielders meet Pyle Adult Recreation Center to make hats, scarves and blankets for those in need. (Photo by Thalia M. España/Cronkite News)

By Thalia M. España

TEMPE – Several senior centers across Arizona are knitting, crocheting, sewing and quilting to help the poor. Two such groups are the Tempe Needlewielders and Knit 4 Needy.

“There’s such a need for people that are in some type of stress in their life, to give them something that can have a special meaning in their life and add joy to whatever is going on,” said Peggy Short, treasurer for the Tempe Needlewielders. The group meets at Pyle Adult
Recreation Center.

From scarves and caps for newborns to wheelchair bags and fidget bibs for nursing home residents, volunteers create items they donate to charities, including the American Heart AssociationChemo CompanionsRefugee Focus and the Purple Society.

The act of creating something for someone else is rewarding for the volunteers, too.

“I’ve gotten emails and pictures of people who had nothing … who are now wearing a hat one of the ladies made, or a scarf or a blanket” said Nanci Hannon, chair of Knit 4 Needy, which meets at the Via Linda Senior Center in Scottsdale.

“It makes the group feel like they’re helping humanity.”

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