Area knitters spread warmth by donating hats, mittens and scarves for area children


Area knitters spread warmth by donating hats, mittens and scarves for area children

CANTON — Long before cold weather hits the north country, several knitters in the community get busy making hundreds of hats, mittens and scarves for roughly 400 area children and teenagers.The hand-knitted items are donated to the Giving Tree project, an annual holiday program that provides clothes, toys, books, and food for low-income families in Canton, DeKalb, Hermon, Clare and Russell.Joined by other volunteers, Cheryl Glidden, was at the Canton Fire Station on Tuesday hanging winter scarves on a display rack next to a long table filled with hand-knitted hats, mittens and headbands in a variety of colors and sizes.“This represents thousands of hours of time,” Mrs. Glidden said. “Some people do intricate patterns. They’re all so different.”This year, about 350 hats, 75 pairs of mittens and 25 scarves were donated by Canton knitters. The Giving Tree Program is coordinated each year by the Canton Church & Community Program, a consortium of Canton churches that run a food pantry and thrift shop on Main Street. The gifts are donated by community members, students from SUNY Canton and St. Lawrence University, businesses, and members of area churches.This year for the first time, a garbage bag full of mittens was donated by a senior citizen who resides at United Helpers’ Maplewood Campus. The attached note did not identify the knitter.“I’d like to find out who made them so I can bring the person some yarn,” Mrs. Glidden said.Also, 40 fleece-lined hats were donated by Turtle Fur, a Vermont company.“The box just showed up. We have no idea how they knew about us,” Mrs. Glidden said.Many of the knitters stitch up their items throughout the year, knowing that their creations are a welcome addition to the holiday program. Janice Poole said she knits in the evenings and on long car rides to visit her grandson in Albany. This year, she donated 26 hats to the program.“It gives me a reason to try new patterns and styles of knitting,” she said. “I love to see all the different designs. It inspires you.”Along with toys and a clothing outfit for each child, the knitted items will be handed out at the fire station on Friday and Saturday. Each child can also receive socks, books, a pair of pajamas and small stocking stuffer items. Leftover winter wear is donated to Canton Central School.About four years ago, Mrs. Glidden decided to recruit some knitters so that hats would be available for children who receive gifts from the Giving Tree program. The response was overwhelming, with about 400 hats contributed.Since then, support has remained strong. Mrs. Glidden said this year’s knitting crew included Mary Ellen Carvel, Mrs. Poole, Phyllis Lawrence, Patricia Sibbits and one of her friends, Marlene Clark, Gloria Gardner, Sigie Barr-Sapp, and Sigrid Reichert.Frances Bailey, Giving Tree coordinator, said the hand-knitted items provide a “real, old-fashioned, homemade touch,” to the program.“These are the work of very talented people,” Mrs. Bailey said.The number of children signed up to receive gifts has grown from 379 last year to 420 this year.“We have more children and we have an increased amount of donated toys. People have been incredibly generous,” she said.
Source: Watertown Daily Times Latest News
Area knitters spread warmth by donating hats, mittens and scarves for area children

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