Knitters Send Their Creations to Help Less Fortunate

Post a Comment » Written on March 31st, 2009     
Filed under: News
MERCER ISLAND, WA (March 31, 2009) – If you love knitting, but don’t have enough relatives to give your hats, sweaters and blankets to, why not start a ministry?

“Loving Heart and Hands…for His Little Lambs” of Mercer Island Covenant Church is a group of passionate knitters who donate warm clothes they have fashioned to people who are in need.

Sallie Tuttle got the idea for the ministry in January 2008 while recovering from knee surgery. She searched the Internet for ideas and came across, a non-profit organization that sends warm clothes to orphanages located in poor and cold areas of the world, such as Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Volunteers sign up on their website and the organization sends them free yarn. The finished clothes are returned within three months and then shipped to wherever there’s a need.

Tuttle decided to adapt the concept and started calling yarn companies for donations. Two companies wanted to help. Nebraska-based Brown Sheep Wool sends 25 free skeins of yarn every six months, and “charity-minded Cascade Yarns in Tukwila, Washington, gives us wonderful wholesale discounts,” says Tuttle.

Loving Hearts and Hands… meets the last Monday of every month at the church to knit, support and encourage each other. At the start, they were about 20-30 people, now it’s down to 10-15. But Tuttle is not discouraged. “The ladies are so enthusiastic,” she says.

Last September, the group sent a large shipment of 100 articles to an organization in Moscow that helps orphaned young women who have “gotten into the wrong parts in life,” such as drugs and crimes, Tuttle explains. Many of them are young mothers.

However, the expensive shipment to Russia almost depleted Loving Hearts and Hands’ funds, so Tuttle is looking for U.S. orphanages that might need the clothes. “I don’t want this mission to stop,” says Tuttle.

The group also is considering new ways to raise funds, including auctioning surplus sweaters or arranging a knitting seminar for adults and children.

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