Guest Post: Warmth for the Winter

This is a guest post written by a social work intern at the Metro Library about a new project here in OKC. We know that some of you knitters and crocheters like to make hats. So, we’re happy to share this guest blog post and invite you to join her.

I love that knitting and crocheting is such an inherent act of service and compassion. Threads of Compassion does incredible work providing for those who have been impacted by sexual violence, offering some semblance of comfort and humanity during a traumatic time. When I reached out to them to discuss my own project I am working on, they were quick to respond and offer their platform. Caring runs deep, and it helps remind me that there is so much kindness and good left in the world. We just have to look around!

I am a social work intern at the OKC Metro Library and have been assisting the unhoused for about 2 months now. So many of them find themselves in a devastating situation due to the housing crisis, fleeing a domestic violence situation, chronic physical or mental health conditions that have been exacerbated due to a broken healthcare system, or any number of other reasons. I have seen children, teens, veterans, men, women… You name it. They come from all different walks of life, but they all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. When I visit with them, most of the time their requests are so simple yet so surprisingly difficult to obtain. They need toothpaste, soap, a tarp, etc; with winter
nearly upon us, they are asking for gloves, a scarf, a hat—anything to help fight off the bitter cold. I am a knitter, so when I am not working or interning, I am busy knitting up items for these folks. But I am only one person, and the need is SO great. That’s where you come in!

If you have finished works that you have been meaning to gift or donate, please consider my project! If you enjoy knitting for a cause, consider sending a scarf or hat my way so that I can distribute directly to someone who acutely needs it. Your small act of service will make a meaningful impact; the kindness of strangers makes the biggest difference for these folks.

So, if you are interested—or if you have any questions—please email me! I can be reached at: tasha.n.sanders-1@ou.edu . I can meet you or make other arrangements to pick up. Keep in mind that many unhoused folks are victims of sexual violence and are frequently targets of other kinds of crimes due to their vulnerability and marginalized status, so neutral colors (black, navy, brown, etc) are a safe bet.

Thank you for helping me make their fall and winter a little warmer this year.

Busy hands

Stack of 33 crocheted scarves in a variety of colors
33 beautiful scarves

Early October brought a beautiful delivery our way One busy lady crocheted these for us!

33 scarves Lots of different colors, and beautifully done. We’re so thankful for this contribution.

We’re working on getting them packaged to have over to the YWCA before next month.

I’m confident these will be a welcome gift to the recipients.

Every scarf makes a difference -whether you can create 1 or 33 we hope you’ll join us.

Let’s register for the OK State Fair!

powered by ShoWorks

Registration for the OK State Fair Creative Arts Competition has begun.

It’s free to register to submit your scarf to the competition. They display all the donated scarves together and then we pick them up at the end of the fair. Everyone who enters one receives a cool ribbon, and they even judge the scarves and award place ribbons to the ones they determine the top 10.

Free registration is online now through August 15th. You can submit up to 3 crocheted scarves and up to 3 knitted scarves. The details are all on the State Fair’s website.

Scarves from Indiana

4 scarves set out next to each other

We’re so thankful to receive these 4 beautiful scarves in the mail this week.

They came from a family friend in Indiana. It’s so neat how word of this project spreads and people are able to join us.

As I opened the box I found myself examining the scarves and wondering “just how did she do that?” Sometimes I can figure out the pattern and sometimes I can’t. Either way it’s really fun to see all the different ones.

It takes a village

Photo of 5 white plastic bags full of packaged scarves
114 scarves packaged and ready to share

Today we handed over 114 scarves that are packaged and ready to offer comfort. I said “handed off” instead of “delivered” because one of the awesome members of the YWCA staff came to pick them up from me. It was really helpful to have them picked up!

These scarves came from lots of people in several states. Some donate 1 or 2, while some need multiple grocery sacks to get all theirs to me. I really appreciate each person that has donated.

I’m thankful for our “village” that makes this project possible. Here are some of them:

  • People who crochet or knit scarves and deliver them.
  • People who mail scarves from other places.
  • People who help with the packaging.
  • People who help get the scarves to the staff so they can be distributed.
  • People who tell others about the project so new people can join. (There’s always space and need for more scarf makers)
  • Those who have shared yarn or money to buy yarn or packaging materials.
  • People who help make the website and the Facebook page work to share info

What an encouragement it has been to see so many people come together in an effort to offer some comfort to people at a really tough time.

Travelling scarves

One of our volunteers brought these scarves by for us to package. Her family member came from another state to visit and brought them with her to donate.

It’s so encouraging when word spreads about this work and new people join in the fun.

A Great Start!

I’m thankful for the ladies that have been busy crocheting over the last few months.

So much great work here!

This pile is 39 scarves ready to be delivered to the YWCA. It was just 4 volunteers who made them. They’re a beautiful variety of patterns and colors, ready to offer comfort to people at such a hard time.

As always, we’d love to have your help making scarves! Please join us if you can. We’re all working at home right now and then passing them off for packaging and delivery.

Busy crocheting!

After a call from the YWCA requesting more scarves I got busy working on finishing up a few that I’d started months ago.

As you can see, we’re very flexible about the color and pattern of scarves that we receive and package for distribution. The width should be 5″- 8″ and length should be at least 65″.

If you can knit or crochet I hope you’ll join us. The supply is quite low and the need is approximately 45 scarves per month. Since we started in January of 2010 we’ve been able to provide enough scarves just in time for each survivor to receive one. We’ve had a few volunteers that have had to step away recently, so I’m really hoping that sharing this info will result in some new (or renewed) interest in joining us in this good work.

I’ll be glad to meet up with you to receive completed scarves, just send an email and we’ll work out the details.

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