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Home : Community : Charity Connection : Stories : Booties and Books

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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Booties and Books

When I got laid off from the American Red Cross, I knew I still wanted to be involved. I applied as a volunteer and began crocheting baby booties for the Red Cross - who in turn gives them to the county hospital - Parkland. The Red Cross has an entire network or retirees and other age volunteers that knit and crochet these bootise as well as caps, to go home with the over 16,000 babies born annually. For me this was stress relief - a way to calm down and practice patience while making something that would be appreciated. Just two months before my layoff, a coworker had taught me how to crochet.

Six months after the layoff, I found another job - one that is absolutely perfect for me. For the same hospital that I STILL crochet booties for. I still do booties in my spare time...and I now coordinate their literacy program, ensuring that our smallest patients go home with both booties and books for their future.

The Red Cross has worked with the hospital on this project for many years. The hospital pays for the yarn (usually Jamie yarn or something similiar) - and the Red Cross supplies people to make the booties. We have one couple, Bob and Albina Young who have been volunteers for over 50 years - making booties, receiving blankets, caps, etc - as well as volunteering countless hours at the hospital. They have been reported on in the media once or twice in the past.

I myself have done only a small number of booties, as I also have small children at home that take a lot of my time. I also take scrap yarn and make squares for the homeless blankets in the program through Michaels. I use a lot of Homespun yarn at home, whcih also makes great scarves. It is something I want to continue - and perhaps be in the league of the Youngs at some point in my life.

I don't think many people take the time to learn to knit or crochet anymore - or make the time to actually do a project. I would encourage current knitters and crocheters to take the time to TEACH someone else - and to donate their time by making items that will be used by those less fortunate - whether it is for the homeless, for tiny babies, or some other worthy cause. I was taught by a friend - and have passed the skill on to another - who has passed it on to a young girl. Knowing that I am in that chain brings me the same pride as walking through Parkland Hospital and seeing the baby booties going home with young infants - the pride in knowing that my hands have helped create soemthing that will bring warmth to others.

Thank you for making such wonderful yarns!

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