75: Hooked on Crocheting

75: Hooked on Crocheting

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Volunteering & Giving Back

Hooked on Crocheting

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

~Lao Tzu

Over the years I have put my passion for crocheting to good use. Though some may refer to my hobby as an obsession, it serves as great therapy for my busy, sometimes hectic life.

In my yarn-spinning lifetime I have made scarves and blankets for everyone I know. Soon after family and friends were all wrapped in the warmth of my wooly creations I came up with an idea. I went to Walmart and bought out their stock of red, white and blue yarn. I decided I would make lap blankets for veterans at the VA hospital. Now, it didn’t matter to me that I did not know any veterans and couldn’t even tell you where a VA hospital was located. I would make them first and figure out the details later.

I continued with my crochet-a-thon until I had made fifty blankets. My husband asked what I was planning to do with all these flag blankets now that they were made. Good question.

A couple of months later an older cousin and I reunited after many years. She called one day and asked if she could stop by for a visit. I couldn’t wait to see her. Catching up on all those years gone by takes a lot of time, and sharing family stories brought many laughs and ah-ha moments for both of us.

When she was getting ready to leave she mentioned that she had to stop at the hospital on her way home. I asked if anyone was sick. Thankfully, no family members were ill. She was doing a favor for her retired Navy husband. She was going to the VA hospital in their area to visit her husband’s friend.

Could the timing be any more perfect? I asked her to wait a minute while I ran to the garage.

Her eyes were wide as saucers as I returned with three heavy-duty garbage bags filled with those American flag lap blankets.

Somewhere in a VA hospital in Illinois there are beds decorated with American flags, bringing a little warmth to men and women who deserve to be acknowledged for their service. Just the thought warms my heart.

My next project became scarves for our troops overseas. After all, it does get bone-chillingly cold in the desert at night. Quite a few boxes of neck warmers were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thankfully, my passion—some might say addiction—has taken me in different directions, so I am rarely bored when I pick up my crochet hook.

A few years ago I was introduced to a woman whose ministry is to make tiny blankets for preemies. Her group meets once a week at our church. Though I was unable to make the scheduled meeting time, I did make blankets for her, leaving bags of tiny pink and blue blankets on her front porch.

Now that my daughter is a nurse working on the maternity floor of our local hospital, I have found a way to bring joy in a different way. I send my daughter to work with a variety of flowered headbands for the newborn baby girls. The feedback is so positive; the nurses and the new mommies love them! As I make them I find myself saying prayers for the little ones who will be wearing them.

I got the opportunity to see my labor of love in person when my grandson was born. Peering into the nursery, I saw a variety of colorful flowers dotting the tiny heads of baby girls. It was a joyful sight.

The spare bedroom in our home has become a holding area for all my yarn. Totes, hampers and bins line the wall with a multitude of yarn colors and styles. In the corner is a shopping bag filled with headbands ready and waiting to go.

Everyone can volunteer in some way, no matter what your schedule. You don’t necessarily have to join a group or club to be a volunteer.

You can volunteer your talent, whatever that may be. Do what you love; share what you love. With crochet hook in hand I’m stitching my way toward bringing a little joy to others while, in turn, I’m filling up with joy.

~Kathy Whirity

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