Volunteer group donates its knitted creations


June 01, 1998|By Sally Voris | Sally Voris,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

"HAND-CRAFTED with Love," proclaim the tags on the wrapped gift boxes.

Each box is filled with hand-knitted and hand-crocheted items -- lap robes, capes, adult blankets, baby jackets, bonnets, bootees, a baby's blanket, children's blankets and a bootee-bonnet set.

Among the items are tiny, delicate bootees and caps for premature babies -- some so small they would not fit a large baby doll.

The Knitting and Crocheting Volunteer Group of the Kiwanis Wallis Recreation Center packed the items and delivered the boxes to the Deerfield Senior Day Center, the Grassroots Shelter and the Howard County General Hospital Wednesday.

Group members Bess Barranger, Sue Campise, Claire Coates, Agnes DeWolfe, Helen Johnson, Margaret Laterza, Joyce Monroe, Elsie Tremain, Dorothy Schwartz and Wilma Whitwork folded and tucked the items into the boxes.

Other group members include Evelyn Baker, Edee Barre, Ayla Drummond, Janet Klausmeyer, Barbara Kuntz, Joyce Monroe and Janet Magruder.

At the hospital, the volunteers got a tour and visited the premature-baby nursery.

This was the group's second delivery of supplies this year. The first included 50 blankets for the Grassroots shelter.

Betty Roberts coordinates the program. When she retired, she felt "not in the center of things anymore" and decided to volunteer, she said.

Roberts saw a small announcement about knitting squares for ** the homeless. She knew she could knit -- she had knitted with her mother in the air-raid shelters in London.

So she began attending the group at Kiwanis Wallas, which meets twice a month.

Johnson began volunteering at the same time.

She comes to the group to relax and socialize. She proudly displays silk roses deftly embroidered into a crocheted baby's bonnet.

"Why not do it right?" she asks.

Laterza comes from Columbia. She has difficulty walking, but comes to the group, stocks up on yarn and comes back two weeks later with completed items.

She is grateful to have work she can do at home.

The group meets twice a month from 11: 30 a.m. to 1: 30 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month.

Members may grab a snack or a drink, but they are there to work. Roberts describes the caring in their faces as their fingers fly and they share stories.

The group has logged over 2,000 hours of volunteer time and delivered nearly 250 handmade items.

Over 3,000 skeins of wool have been donated, and the group is steadily growing.

For information, call Mary Beth Dugan at 410-313-7311.

Work of their hands

On Friday, third-graders at Ilchester Elementary School presented 27 lap quilts they had made to the residents of Catonsville Commons -- a nearby nursing facility -- who came to the school for the event.

This year, Judy Maurer, a third-grade teacher, worked with team leader Regina Basnight, third-grade teachers Cindy Jamieson and Oonagh Schantz and instructional assistant Gloria Derby to create a project that would teach generosity, responsibility, empathy, respect and gratitude.

The school staff members met with representatives from Catonsville Commons to design the project, which linked people from the two communities.

The children set up telephone bingo and wrote letters to Catonsville Commons residents. The Catonsville Commons residents, in turn, sent back candy bags.

The entire third-grade helped make lap quilts illustrating the theme, "A Quilt for All Seasons." Each student drew a picture of one of the four seasons. Parent volunteers assisted.

Kay Ward arranged to have the fabric donated.

Janet Sivo organized the cutting and color coordination of the fabrics.

Sandy Koskovich headed the sewing and ironing committee.

Beth Lee organized the washing of the fabric.

Sandy Calvitt matched fabrics to the student's artwork, and Kathy Tomaszewski organized parent volunteers to assist students with their designs.

Welcome, Betsy

Third-graders in Dee Walsh's class welcomed their "Trucker Buddy" Charlie Blair and "Betsy," his 18-wheeler, to the parking lot in front of Rockburn Elementary School on Wednesday.

Blair volunteered as part of a national program that matches truckers with classes of children in a "pen pal" program.

Having read about the program in a family magazine, Walsh requested a trucker buddy so her students could gain experience writing letters.

The children sent birthday cards and letters to Blair's home. His wife read them to him when he called home.

He sent postcards to the third-graders from places he was traveling.

On May 22, each child in the class received a letter from Blair.

Blair drove to Elkridge from his home in Mechanicsville, Va., to meet the 29 third-graders he had been writing to since March.

He showed the students the inside of the cab, which is equipped with a microwave, VCR and sleeping area. Blair opened Betsy's hood and showed them the engine.

He did simple math problems with them.

A teddy bear on the passenger side was wearing a seat belt.

Walsh noted, Blair "was like a big teddy bear -- so warm and friendly. Everyone who met him was impressed!"

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