Crochet club to send squares to South Africa

Published 4:46 pm Friday, January 16, 2015

Several local Butler County women are proving that a little compassion literally goes a long way.

A distance of more than 8,000 miles separates the members of the Greenville-Butler County Public Library’s Hooked on Crochet Club from the recipients of their next project.

The club members are crocheting a series of eight-inch by eight-inch squares of yarn that are to be shipped to South Africa, where they will be joined into blankets and then distributed to poverty-stricken children.

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Pat Tucker, who has been teaching the class weekly in the library for more than two years, said that though the project began with her club, she would like for the entire community to participate.

“What we’re trying to do is get the public involved,” Tucker said.

“Anybody that wants to make squares can, and in the pamphlet you can see that it’s 8×8 inches. We meet here every Tuesday at 3 p.m., so if they want to come by and sit in and make squares, they’re welcome to come.”

As long as the squares themselves meet the size specifications, any and all contributions will be accepted.

Crochet club member Gail McKenney said that the club’s latest project is just another example of its charitable spirit.

“I’ve been in less-than-fortunate situations in many times in my life, and once I got stabilized, I decided that it was my right to help other people,” McKenney said.

“And I’ve been looking for a while for things to do to help.  I’ve stumbled upon Safe Harbor and I’ve been making some things for them, but when I got into the class here, I realized that we’re all about charity.”

Another club member, Lorraine Boutwell, said that it was the anonymity of the project that she appreciated most.

“To me, it’s good to be anonymous,” Boutwell said.

“They don’t know who we are and we don’t know who they are, but hopefully we’re making an impact in just knowing that someone cares enough to do something for them.”

Though the process only began about a week ago, the women of the club have made a great deal of progress in their production of yarn squares.

Admittedly, for more than a few of them, the therapeutic nature of crocheting at home in front of the TV has been a small gift in and of itself.

Some of the women measure progress in hours, while others joked that they measured in days.  But all of the women agreed that the time was well spent.

“It’s just a warm feeling you get helping someone less fortunate than yourself,” Tucker added.

The cutoff date for receiving squares is set for Tues., Feb. 10.  Those who would like to contribute to the cause can deliver their squares to the Hooked on Crochet Club or sit in for a session and learn from scratch.