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Home : Community : Charity Connection : Stories : Warm Up America

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.

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Warm Up America

Mary Hayes has knit and crocheted almost all her life. She teaches both knit and crochet for the Peoria Park District and Knit for Michael's Arts and Craft Store in Peoria, Illinois. She uses her love for knitting and crocheting to help others on the Warm Up America program.

Working with Peoria Park District Mary's students make 7 X 9 inch rectangles for homework to be donated to the Warm Up America program. She teaches her students basic and advanced knit and crochet stitches.

At Michael's Arts and Craft Store in Peoria, Illinois Mary has been involved with the Warm Up America program since 1999 and even before at Jo Ann Fabrics in Peoria. A group of ladies at Michael's collect the 7x9 inch rectangles, sort and pin them together, sew the retangles together and crochet a border around the afghan. They are donated to local organications such as South Side Mission, Salvation Army and Friendship House.

We use donated yarns (Lion Brand colors to match the afghans), donated retangles and volunteers to sew the afghans together at sewing bees at the Michael's store.

Mary's Country Kitchen, owned by Mary Hayes creates afghans for Warm Up america and donates them to friends. She continues to have an afghan on her needles.

To date we have donated hundreds of adult afghans, baby afghans, and lap robes to people in need in the Peoria area.

Mary has taught students to knit and crochet who turn are teaching others to knit and crochet for the Warm Up America Program. One of Mary's students a 76 year old lady made 175 rectangles for the program last year. We are touching lives with our efforts in Peoria and it is making a difference in our community. I have had people come to me and ask for one of my afghans because it gets cold in Peoria. They know that I will either make them an afghan or get them one from the many we make. We do not turn anybody down.

Working on the Warm Up America program has inspired me to continue my teaching, knitting and crocheting. It has brought me in contact with many really good friends and it has encouraged me by giveing me a warm feeling inside when I give of myself to others.

We have had absolutely NO media coverage on our efforts.

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