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Students take service into their own hands

Elizabeth Gunto, staff writer

Knit for Nancy is a clothing drive run by Helpmate and the RISE Crew. Helpmate is an organization which helps women and children who have left abusive situations. As the name of the drive suggests, donations are items knit, not bought, by students. The items are are mostly scarves, hats, and gloves and are perfect for the upcoming winter. All pieces must be in by December 15. Students can turn their donations into the RISE project office in lower Dodge. (If no-one is there, students can leave the item/items with their names attached.) Or they can leave the donations with junior Emily Standridge or sophomore Victoria Wiener in the Dorland common room, between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. on Monday evenings.

Standridge, who works on the RISE Crew and coordinates Knit for Nancy, explained that the idea came from a brain storming session.

“I am really into knitting, and I noticed that so were a lot WWC students.  Why not get service for doing something that you love?” Standridge said.

For every piece students turn in, they get four service hours. So far, Helpmate has received about 35 items of clothing for the winter. In 2007, the drive was called “Knit-a-thon,” but Kelly Kelbel, the Safe Community coordinator, thought of the catchier “Knit for Nancy” for this year’s drive.

Knit for Nancy is connected to Craft Night in Dorland, which is every Monday from 7:00 to 8:00. Craft Night is run by junior Kathryn Evans.

“During these knitting sessions students can connect while doing something they enjoy, and it is also an opportunity to tell others about Helpmate and to discuss domestic violence,” Standridge said.

She received yarn donations from local craft stores for the drive last year, and there was enough left over for this year.

“I really love this service project, and I hope others get involved,” Standridge added.

“I knit and crochet anyways but I feel as though a lot of the things I make end up never being used.  I love that I have a place to donate them and know that they are really helping people.  The service hours are just a bonus, but I think they are good for getting people motivated who might not do it otherwise … I really like getting together with people and knitting for a purpose,” Wiener said.

Wiener shared a story of turning the donations in at Helpmate.  She said she met one woman who had just escaped her abusive husband and was afraid that she would freeze on the streets. “And then she saw all the scarves and mittens, and she was overjoyed. She was so happy.”


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