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Home : Community : Newsletters & Stories

Newsletters & Stories

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Stories from the Prayer Shawl Ministry
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Charity Feature - Needle Arts Mentoring Program
By: Lion Brand

One of the most rewarding aspects of yarn crafting is teaching others. The Needle Arts Mentoring Program (NAMP), a division of the 501(c)(3) organization Helping Hands Foundation, provides volunteers with the opportunity to mentor young knitters and crocheters. According to Executive Director Penny Sitler, the goal of the program is to "create community partnerships that promote and encourage relationships between adults and youth, fostering curiosity, creativity, and a feeling of achievement through the teaching of needle arts." Children in the program receive free yarn and supplies to spark their creativity and to ensure that their curiosity about needle arts develops into a passion.

Needle Arts Mentoring ProgramAdult mentors work with NAMPs in schools, adult school programs, 4-H groups, scout troops, libraries, camps, and other group locations. Each mentor works one-on-one with a child to teach yarn crafting at a pace the child can understand. Together, they meet one hour once a week. At the end of six weeks, the child graduates from the mentoring program. Aside from volunteering their time, mentors help children develop math skills, improve hand-eye coordination and motor skills, build self-esteem, and relieve stress.

Potential mentors should visit the list of active NAMPs to see if there is a nearby program they can join. Those interested in starting their own chapters should contact NAMP directly. The Helping Hands Foundation provides needles, hooks, yarn, how-to booklets, and a training DVD to help your chapter get started. You can also support NAMP through tax-deductible monetary donations on their website. Please contact NAMP directly for donations of services or supplies.

For more information on the Needle Arts Mentoring Program, visit

Authored by Lion Brand

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