Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Loose Knit Group is a volunteer group of knitters who meet at the Boardman library and donate their work to local organizations, such as the Beatitude House. They have donated 2,000 blankets and 1,600 baby hats to the children at the NICU. Pictured are some long-standing members of the group with Jaime DeMain (center) of Akron Children's at St. Elizabeth.
Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Loose Knit Group of Mahoning Valley celebrated 2,000 blanket donations for children at Akron Children's at St. Elizabeth's NICU at the their meeting on March 2. The group began donating to the NICU in January 2012.
By ZACK SHIVELY
The Loose Knit Group of Mahoning Valley celebrated their milestone of 2,000 blankets made for newborns at the Akron Children’s NICU at their meeting on March 2.
The group are avid knitters from all over the Mahoning Valley who meet at the Boardman library twice each month. They currently have 26 women registered to their group. They knit and crochet different items for charities and organizations.
“We’re very grateful for the knitters who take time to make blankets for our babies,“ said Jamie DeMain of Akron Children’s at St. Elizabeth, which is where Loose Knit Group donates the blankets.
The group collects around 25 each time they meet, resulting in 50-60 blankets each month. They have also donated more than 1,600 baby hats to the NICU.
The group formed in 2010 as a small group of knitters who wanted to make and donate afghan blankets. The group began making blankets for the NICU children in 2012, after Dr. Elena Rossi suggested the idea. Rossi, cousin of Loose Knit member Lucia Yurco, had seen what the group had done for other organizations. Rossi worked as a pediatrician for Akron Children’s Hospital at the time.
Yurco said that her cousin pointed out a great need and she wanted to help give babies a better start. She called the act a “small measure of kindness“ and explained it shows the children that someone they do not know will help.
Along with the NICU blankets, the group donates to other organizations, such as the Austintown Senior Center. They have received letters of gratitude from Youngstown schools, YWCA and the Beatitude House. They donated approximately 100 scarves and hats to the William Holmes McGuffey Elementary School.
Another member has also started a project to give hats to children of all ages to the oncology department of Akron Children’s Hospital at their main campus in Akron. A 4-year-old child named Nora inspired the project.
The group began meeting in the library two years ago. They welcome new members with skill levels ranging from unexperienced to professional. Yurco said the group will help anyone who wanted to be a member, no matter the skill level. They also accept yarn donations.
The group meets in the library the first and third Friday of each month from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m.