Nutty Knitters encourages seniors to get active, give back
Airdrie’s Nutty Knitters are asking residents to donate new or used yarn and knitting accessories to help children in need.
The group has a donation box at Luxstone Manor where residents can drop off yarn. Those who live in seniors’ residences will knit scarves, hats, mitts and toys for Samaritans Purse Canada, organization that has been providing spiritual and physical aid to people around the world since 1970.
“This gets seniors together and keeps their minds active and their hands moving,” said Debbie Di Vetta, organizer of Nutty Knitters.
“It gives them a sense of pleasure to create something that is going to a child in need.”
Chris Zielke, operation manager of Samaritans Purse Canada, said the small items will be greatly appreciated in the Christmas boxes.
“These homemade items will add something special,” he said. “We call them filler items but they are really more personal items and the kids really appreciate that. Kids feel the care that goes into it.”
He said the small items are perfect to fill space in boxes when people pack things that can not be shipped.
“We are in great need of filler items,” said Zielke.
Starting April 16, seniors will be making clothing and toys for children age two to 14.
Patty Smith, recreation coordinator at Luxstone Manor, said the residence was looking for a knitting program and this opportunity was a perfect fit.
“A lot of the seniors knit and crochet and so we thought, ‘why not have them get together and do it?’” said Smith. “It is great exercise for their hands and a social activity. They are donating their time to a cause that promotes self-growth, which is good at any age. I think it is something they are really going to enjoy.”
She said many of the seniors seem interested in taking part and learning how to knit. She said she hopes at least 10 residents will come out to the first Nutty Knitters’ event on April 16 and have them grow from there.
Di Vetta has been knitting for most of her life and she said it is an art.
“Some would call it therapeutic,” she said. “It calms your mind to remain focused on one thing.”
She said people of all ages and men are starting to pick up the knitting needles.
“It would be nice if there wasn’t a stigma to it,” she said. “It’s quite amazing to see men knit and see their results.”
Brandon Strickland, 19, learned to knit a couple of years ago but just got back into it.
“It is calming and fun and something to do with your hands,” he said.
“I love that we can get seniors involved and active while helping kids in Third World countries. The stories of children in need have always impacted me and I want to make them happy. I want them to know someone loves them.”
Di Vetta said if the project takes off, Nutty Knitters will broaden their horizons and get knitters of all ages to take part.
“This is showing that Airdrie is a community that cares about young, less fortunate children,” she said.
“We wanted to start small with the seniors and see where it goes. Hopefully it grows.”
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