Compassion Crafters share their skills to help community
BY DEBBIE PAGE
Boo-bunnies, tote bags with stuffed animals for children, and walker caddies for seniors in care facilities are just some of the projects being created by the newly formed Compassion Crafters in Troutman.
The group, which is the brainchild of Sonya Yager and Donna Hamrick, meets the last Thursday of each month. It will hold its second drop-in crafting session on Thursday, June 27, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the J. Hoyt Hayes Memorial Troutman Library.
Crafters and sewers of all ability levels are welcome to join in on the fun and fellowship while serving the community. All of the handcrafted gifts will be passed on to those in need.
The first agencies the group chose as recipients are the Troutman Police Department, My Sister’s House, and the skilled nursing areas at Iredell Memorial Hospital.
The purpose of the group is to encourage local people to connect with others and reach out to those in crisis, according to Yager. For example, the small tote bags with stuffed animals the group is creating will be given to police officers, who can use them to comfort children being removed from domestic violence situations.
“They really help the children. Often they clam up. Having something to cuddle helps them and opens them up,” said Yager.
The group will also give them to those with dementia and Alzheimer's disease in skilled nursing units or at Iredell Memorial Hospital. Holding a doll or stuffed animal often helps patients feel more secure and happy.
The first meeting in May drew a dozen crafters from novices to experienced crafters.
“We are looking for people who can sew or are willing to learn,” added Yager. “They will learn to quilt too. It’s a chance to help others and share what you know.”
Yager and other leaders make up craft kits with instructions for participants to complete projects at the sessions. “We really want people of all skill levels. If you can’t sew, we’ll give you another task or teach you!”
At the first meeting, crafters made Teddy Towels and BooBoo Bunnies to comfort children. The group is also creating walker caddies for nursing home patients to hold necessary items as they walk around the facility.
Small “fidget” blankets, made from placemats with added handles, have items of various textures and colors added for dementia patients to touch and view to provide stimulation for their senses. The blankets also fold so they can be carried around by the handles like a purse.
Other planned projects include baby crib, twin, and full-size quilts and knitted scarves for those families living at My Sister’s House.
Yager said that participants are welcome to bring portable sewing machines and basic sewing supplies and tools to the meetings if they have them. They are also looking for donations of fabric, notions, ribbon, buttons, and craft supplies to use in creating their projects.
If the group continues growing as they hope, Yager said they will move the meetings to the American Legion Hall in Troutman and add more agencies to serve.
“If you are a person who enjoys having a good time with people of similar interests and, most importantly, want to help people in need, please come and join us,” said Yager.
For more information, contact Yager at (716) 628-6262 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.