WINNSBORO — Some ladies in the Fairfield community are leading the way when it comes to reaching out to needy children.
The Fairfield Community Leaders are 12 members strong, members who get out their crochet and knitting needles to help children around the world and in the United States.
For around 10 years now, the ladies have made and shipped sweaters and hats to needy children worldwide through the Knit for Kids program (www.knitforkids.org). The group is part of Word Vision outreach, based out of Pennsylvania.
“The appeal was for the children. We were looking for a project around 10 years ago, learned of this one and began,” said member Alice Glass.
The Fairfield group meets from September through May on the third Monday of each month at 2:30 p.m. but meetings rotate among group members’ homes. Instead of group meetings in Columbia or Charleston, the leaders decided they would rather carve out a niche where they could meet and do projects right here in Fairfield County.
Ameen said most of the members could crochet, but that some chose instead to donate yarn and other supplies. The ladies gathered to help pack up the sweaters and caps, but most of the time they did the crocheting during idle moments and in their spare time.
The sweaters and hats are for children in mountainous regions of Guatemala, North America and Appalachia who might stay warm enough during the day, but who suffer at high elevations when the temperature drops at night. The sweaters are sleep gear that helps hold in the body heat these children need to survive. The clothing molds to the shape of the child wearing it, ensuring a custom fit from the uniform design.
Margaret Sanders said their group is associated with the Clemson Extension Homemakers Group, an organization that has been in effect since at least the 1930s. Sanders said she has been helping with the group since she was 8-years-old and attended meetings with her mother.
A crochet club is partnered with the Clemson Extension. Part of the Clemson Extension Homemakers Group’s duties include teaching people about better health habits, better eating habits and the importance of exercising. The women exercised their minds and fingers this year to meet a 50 sweater goal for the project.
Group President Ruth Ameen said the next goal for the group is a 100-blanket project to be sent to the same outreach effort. People wishing to donate yarn should contact projects manager Mildred Lewis at 635-23056.
Donations for postage to help with shipping the sweaters also are much appreciated.