The Crochet Club at Dean L. Shively Middle School has joined with Warm Up America! to provide handmade blankets to those in need. The Shively Crochet Club meets daily during lunch to crochet 7”x9” squares in all kinds of colors, using a variety of stitches. Those squares are then boxed and shipped to Warm Up America! where they are sewn together into afghans and distributed to homeless shelters, hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, women’s shelters, veteran’s homes and other social service agencies.
Staff member Enedina Bartling has taught over 200 students how to crochet just since the club started in September. She says, “I enjoy teaching the youth of today and the leaders of tomorrow how to give back and help those around them.” Not only are the students learning a new skill, but they are connecting, collaborating and making new friends, all while sharing a commitment to help others. Fifth grader, Vincent Santillan enjoys crocheting “because we are helping other kids and it is fun to make different crafts.”
Parents are getting involved, too! Ms. Rosa Hernandez, parent and Crochet Club coach, looks forward to volunteering at the school and working with the students. “It is nice to see the students giving back to the community and not just glued to their cell phones or video games.”
Families are crocheting together in the evenings and on the weekends. Each Monday, Shively students arrive at school with bags full of crocheted squares they worked on at home.
The Crochet Club is making a difference in the lives of those who receive the blankets and those who make the blankets. Shively eighth grader, Zofia Trujillo, sums it up this way. “I like how we are helping people even if we physically can’t be there for them. We are emotionally supporting them by providing blankets that give warmth and comfort. It is such a special gift to be able to give someone.”