Last night Rachel and I went to a meeting at the Textile Center of the MN Knitters Guild (I decided to join up while I was there). It was the quarterly meeting so they had a guest speaker, Betty Christiansen who wrote the book Knitting for Peace.
It was a nice talk and it was fun looking at all of the finished projects. I really wish I had time to do more charity knitting and I'm going to see what I can do to make time for it this year. She is very passionate about using knitting for spreading good will and I agree with her position. Call it corney, but I do think that when you give someone a hand knit item a part of you goes with that item. Your thoughts, your well wishes, sometimes your sweat and tears.
She shared a story about a woman who was the Denver contact for an organization that creates security blankets for children who brought a stack of security blankets to a church where students were being sent just after the shootings at Columbine. The secretary at the church scoffed and said "you know these are teenagers, they are not going to want a security blanket". She left them "just in case they were needed". 10 minutes after the teenagers arrived she got a call to see if she could bring more. Sometimes a wordless gesture or an object that signals safety and warmth is what people need in a time of grief or shock, when their world is upside down. How amazing to be part of something that could have that effect on someone. It was a powerful message.