Sometimes a warm hat and mittens are all it takes to show someone the love of God.
Three years ago Janet Hagen, a member of Ancaster (Ont.) Christian Reformed Church, was volunteering at Good Shepherd Centre when the organization received a garbage bag full of yarn volunteers were not sure what to do with.
Hagen took the bag home, divided the yarn among friends, and returned knitted items back to the center. That first bag sparked a ministry that has spread by word of mouth to many others. People from other churches, including Immanuel CRC and Faith CRC, are now involved too.
Ralph Veldstra of Ebenezer CRC became part of the ministry when he watched Coby Visser knitting hats for Good Shepherd using a corking ring, also known as spool knitting. She mentioned that the rings didn’t have enough pegs to make tight weave so Veldstra crafted a custom ring for Visser and then made another for himself. He has also made tiny rings that are used to make fine wool donated to the centre into preemie hats for McMaster hospital. Each year, members from Ebenezer CRC knit hundreds of items for the Good Shepherd Centre.
“It’s really grown from that first garbage bag against the wall,” said Hagen. “It’s neat to see how it has spread.”
The wool from the Good Shepherd Centre has been used to make thousands of beautiful scarves, hats, mittens, and slippers for people who need them. This year, 1,100 items were brought to the center to be distributed during their Christmas Hamper Program.
“It’s something to do in the winter. Ralph will make up to three hats per night,” said Veldstra’s wife, Ruth, who also helps with the knitting. “This a good way to support our community and fill definite needs.”