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Home : Community : Charity Connection : Stories : The Welcome Center

Stories from the Heart

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Caring and Sharing

While so many of us love making things for ourselves and our families, many in the Lion community go further, creating for those in need. Join us in this section and be touched by these true stories of caring and sharing submitted by Lion Brand readers.

Got a story you'd like to share?  Click here to send it to our editors!

The Welcome Center

Last January I opened a drop-in program for folks experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia. The Welcome Center is based on the simple principal of "healing through hospitality."

One cold afternoon I brought in a prayer shawl I was knitting with Lion Brand's homespun. I began to knit while chatting with some of the women and men. Several of our guests began to share childhood stories of mothers and grandmothers who had taught them to knit. The next day I brought in a basket with a mix from my own stash. I also brought in several pairs of needles. One woman asked if she could take some yarn and needles back with her to the shelter where she slept at night. Another wanted to learn to knit. Others were willing to teach. We decided to make an afghan based on the "warm up america" pattern. A number of people worked on the squares, even as they were living on the streets of Philadelphia. We soon had 63 squares and began to join them together. The afghan has become our symbol of connection, breaking the isolation of homelessness. The group decided to embellish the squares with knitted flowers and that we should hang it in The Welcome Center when we are done. One of our guests, an amazing knitter who has been knitting since she was ten offered to teach me how to do cables; and so the circle of hospitality continues.

Click here to read another story.
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