My little shop resides in a small town called Cedar Point, NC. It is surrounded by several other small towns including Cape Carteret, Emerald Isle, Swansboro, Atlantic Beach and more. I wouldn't say we are rural but we surely aren't big city material either!
It's been awhile since I've posted a blog because last month I was out town, evacuated actually, while Hurricane Florence made her appearance on the east coast. Once I returned two weeks after her departure I was taken back by the mess she had left us in. Familiar roads didn't seem so familiar with their missing trees, debris littered ditches and road signs struggling to stand tall after the abuse sustained from 130+ mph winds. By the time I made it back many of our residents had already returned to their rain soaked homes and missing roofs. It was time we all banded together to help each other out.
It has been over a month since the hurricane hit and I've been nothing short of amazed at how quickly the city has worked for our people, restoring power, clearing roads, and providing assistance. I was blessed that my home only had minimal damage (a few missing shingles and shutter blown off) but a few of my friends and fellow stitchers have suffered more. While doing what I can and watching others help in many ways, it has inspired me to write again about the importance of charity work. By charity work, I don't mean you have to go out and sign on to run fundraisers or 5Ks for huge organizations. I simply mean doing something nice for someone else without the expectation of anything in return. Help an elderly neighbor pick up limbs in her yard. Take a hot meal to someone without electricity. Take a friend to lunch who's house is now unlivable. These little acts of kindness are important. Sometimes they help solve a problem or sometimes they just put a smile on a face.
There are several ways to tie knitting and crochet into charity as well. You offer hats to the homeless on cold winter nights or premie booties to tiny newborns. Locally, we have a group of woman who meet twice a month at Cape Carteret Presbyterian Church to stitch pocket prayer clothes, lapghans, prayer shawls and more for those going through unsettling times. They gather several shawls once a year to donate to Hospice house while donating a dinner to the families there as well. Currently, they are working with the youth of the church, working up scarves that will be on display in the atrium of the church. These scarves will not be for sale but are available for a donation. The donations will be used to fund local mission projects for the youth.
The group has been named Knit, Crochet, Pray and is headed by a wonderful woman (and good friend of mine), Vera Fellows. I sat down with Vera last month to talk with her about how the group came to be and why. Mrs. Fellows had previously been a member of a knitting ministry and decided Cape Carteret Presbyterian needed one. The group she belonged to before was where she had learned to knit and after bringing up the idea to the church's woman's group, others had their interests peaked as well.
Once she knew there was an interest, she put a call out in the church bulletin and had 22 people attend the first meeting back in May of 2015. These were women of all skill level and both knitters and crocheters. Now with roughly 15 active members, the group meets twice a month in the church parlor to stitch, pray and share stories about each other's lives, families and fellowship. Mrs. Fellows feels the group has been very beneficial for both the church and for the members of the group. Each meeting begins with a prayer and a discussion of the groups needs, accomplishments and current projects. They rely on a small budget as well as yarn donations and member purchases. She stressed that it is open to public and anyone can join them. Their only mission is to knit or crochet for charitable purposes. Another important aspect of the group is that all items made by the group are blessed by the church's pastor, Ben Burrows. My favorite part about this blessing is that the children are involved in the blessing. Pastor Ben talks to the children about the ministry and what it does for others, then asks them to lay a hand on the items while they pray over them.
Knitter, Crocheter, Small Business Owner, Teacher, Mom.