This project began as a simple way to get teenage girls involved in a service project. Who knew it would lead me here? Read on…
When my daughter was a junior in high school, I was leading her small group as part of our church high school youth group. We met every Sunday night during the school year. It became apparent that I needed to find a way for the girls to give back to those in need as part of their small group experience. I came up with the idea of teaching each girl to knit or crochet, their choice. I chose New Bethany Ministries as the recipient for our home-crafted goods. Each girl bought 2 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun yarn in any color they liked. The agreement was that, for every scarf they made, I would crochet a hat. That first year we produced 8 hats and 8 scarves.
For their senior year, they chose to make a scarf for every resident of Restoration House, a part of New Bethany Ministries that provides low cost housing for families trying to get back on their feet. That year, the small group made 21 scarves, one for each man, woman and child living in Restoration House that Christmas.
My girls graduated from high school. Now my scarf project needed a new venue. So, that next October, I posted a campus-wide announcement at the university where I taught at the time, describing the scarf project and asking for donations through the first week of December. Then, I sat back and waited. I had no idea what response I might get but I had faith something would happen. Lo and behold, the first week of December arrived and the scarves starting piling into my office. When all was said and done, I had collected 101 scarves! The next 2 years were just as impressive: 130 and 97 scarves respectively. The scarf project continues and now the scarves are included in gift bags that are distributed to New Bethany regulars at Christmas time.
Fast forward to the present and you’ll find Bear Hugs, a community of knitters and crocheters who want to share their gifts with those in need. I know in my heart that this scarf project is meant to go viral and touch many more people than it already has. You can join this community, open to anyone with a passion for knitting or crocheting and a very generous heart. So, pick up those needles and hooks, grab some yarn and get busy making scarves. The sky’s the limit!!!