Local group stitching their way toward a heartfelt goal

GRAFTON—One local group is trying to brighten the lives of some people who may not be in the best situation.

Stitchers with a Purpose, a group comprised of knitters, crocheters, sewers and quilters, created by Cheryl Weaver, meets the first Thursday of every month, at Buffalo Flats Artists Association, to create gifts from the heart.

According to Weaver, after being down following two back surgeries, she was left with little that she could do. One thing she was still able to do was crochet.

“I was out at a store with my back brace on, when I ran into a friend and told her I had been crocheting to fill my time, but joked that one person can only crochet so much,” shared Weaver. “Then, my friend told me that Hospice, whom she works for, is always looking for people to help crochet items for their patients, including prayer shawls.”

After taking the time to make seven shawls for the patients, Weaver devised a plan to get more people involved. She reported that she decided to get a small group of friends together, to meet and make the special gifts.

“I figured if I could get six people together, we could produce at least one shawl a month, apiece,” explained Weaver.

Heidi Chickerell, Volunteer Coordinator for Amedisys Hospice, said that when Weaver mentioned to her that she wanted to start ‘a little group’ to with her goal, she had no idea what was about to happen.

“I figured a few Grafton residents would come to the meeting, and that I may get a few blankets to give our patients, but imagine my surprise when we had over 30 people come to the first meeting,” exclaimed Chickerell.

Weaver said that she was overwhelmed with the turnout.

“When 37 people showed up, it brought me to tears to see that so many people wanted to come out and help make the shawls. It was very touching,” said Weaver. “I have had so much positive feedback about the group.”

According to Weaver, participants of all ages and skill levels will meet each month to create prayer shawls and blankets. Once they are finished, Paula and Chuck Jefferies will come and bless the blankets, before they are given to patients.

Chickerell revealed that the feedback she has received from patients has been positive, as well.

“Patients and families who have received the prayer shawls have been very happy with them,” explained Chickerell. “Patients love that somebody has prayed over the blanket while making it for them.”

She said that patients have stated that it makes them feel comforted during their transition.

“Family members have mentioned to us that they keep the blanket on their couch after their loved one passes, because it makes them remember them more,” shared Chickerell.

She also shared that it has always been her wish that each patient who is admitted to Amedisys Hospice receive a handmade prayer shawl, and with Weaver’s hard work and dedication, it is bound to happen.

“Cheryl has been a blessing,” noted Chickerell. “She took an idea and ran with it, surprising even herself. I can’t wait to see what is in store for Stitchers with a Purpose.”

Weaver said that she would like to extend an invitation to everyone who is interested to stop by and see what the group is all about.

“Everyone is welcome to come and check us out. They can participate as little or as much as they would like. Everyone there has something to teach, whether it’s a new stitch or new technique,” Weaver shared. “It is so rewarding knowing that we are doing something that is going to make someone feel comforted, or make their day.”

For more information, or to see what exactly the group has to offer, stop by Buffalo Flats Artists Association, located at 34 West Main Street, Grafton, on July 6, at 6:00 p.m.


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