Sewing the Fabric of a Community
Knitting is not something you do for instant gratification; it takes time, it takes dedication. Rachel Braley knits. But Rachel’s knitting isn’t aimed at providing her family with holiday gifts of scarves and mittens, her knitting helps create the fabric of a community.
Rachel’s program, Knit for Need, has engaged over 685 volunteers who have worked and knitted for more than 1,935 hours. Her dedicated group of volunteers donate their work to animal shelters, homeless shelters, wounded soldiers, and children’s hospitals . Knit for Need has provided blankets, hats, socks and scarves for many people and organizations in the community.
But Rachel’s program is not just for the experienced knitter; she is eager to teach anyone to knit, thus anyone can join in the weekly knitting sessions. She’s been holding the session every week for two years and estimates she has taught 100 people to knit. Knit for Need threads the community together in two ways; its brings those who want to serve together, and the results of those sessions can be found all across the city.
Knit for Need, a program of HandsOn Inland Empire in Rancho Cucamonga, CA is now in its second year. Rachel, and the staff of HandsOn Island Empire, are looking for ways to expand the program. They are reaching out to more organizatins that may have a need for the group’s knitted items.
Rachel simply sums up her project and service :“There are so many people in the area, especially kids, that don’t have a security blanket, or a teddy bear. There are animals in shelters all over the Inland Empire that sleep on cold concrete. There are people that live on the street without gloves, or hats in the winter. I can only hope that if we knit as many things as we can, as often as we can, and donate to as many places as we can, that at some point, there will be less of all that need.”