New WJ club knits for charity

Members+of+the+knitting+club+gather+at+a+local+park+to+knit+for+charity.+Their+finished+products+will+be+delivered+to+nearby+hospitals+for+hospitalized+children.

Photo courtesy of Kyla Johnson

Members of the knitting club gather at a local park to knit for charity. Their finished products will be delivered to nearby hospitals for hospitalized children.

The WJ Knitting Club, a brand new club this year, has been successful in the 2020 virtual environment, working with their advisor, members and the Montgomery County Association of Family and Community Education to deliver knitted/crocheted blankets to sick children in hospitals.

Knitting, crocheting and sewing are all welcome in the Knitting Club; with each student’s chosen method, they make granny squares that are then stitched together to make blankets that go to children with cancer or other illnesses in the hospital, providing a little bit of light to their day. The necessary supplies — crochet hooks/knitting needles and yarn — are delivered to each member’s house by one of the officers, and the final products will be picked up and dropped off at the hospitals, adhering to social distancing and mask guidelines.

The goal is to make the process as easy as it can be for all participants. Even if someone doesn’t know how to crochet/knit, the officers are all at stand-by ready to provide resources for anyone to learn.

“Many notable, hardworking club members were new to knitting when they first joined. But through a series of help from YouTube videos, Zoom learning sessions and tutorials, they have now become experts at crocheting/knitting. Everyone’s very loving and extremely happy to help others,” sophomore club President Lily Ren said.

While the club does expect that members commit to making their blankets for the children in the hospitals, they are flexible if a student is unable to make it to a meeting. Meetings are held once every two weeks through the Zoom platform, and while they aren’t mandatory, they are always open to anyone who has questions or just wants to hang out and crochet and knit together.

In addition, crocheting and knitting have both been proven to reduce stress and can be used as a way to take a break from everyday life. It can be done while watching television, listening to music or talking with friends.

“To someone joining, I’d say though it’s a commitment, it’s not a stressful one. And even if you don’t know how to knit or crochet you can learn, and the environment of the club is really welcoming,” sophomore Kyla Johnson said.

In a COVID-19-free world, the club hopes to take members on club bonding field-trips via metro as well as to hold fundraisers to raise money for supplies. They are also thinking of posting crocheting/knitting tips on Instagram for anyone who is interested in learning different types of stitches and techniques. In order to stay up-to-date with the progress of everyone’s blankets, students are given access to the club’s Google Classroom as well as an Instagram groupchat where the officers contact them often. Besides the fact that club members are able to help make a difference in children’s lives, they can also earn SSL hours for their participation.

“Students are able to earn community-service credits in a very flexible way. It’s a win-win,” advisor Prachin Kents said.

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