Helping Homeless Teens
I had the pleasure to meet Keeping Kids Warm, a teen outreach program where crochet items are needed to help homeless teens.
While at Spinrite Factory Outlet on June 21, 2014, three fabulous ladies showed up to spend some time with me doing yarn tasting. Little would I know that these three ladies were making a significant difference in London Ontario with their registered charity called Keeping Kids Warm.
Donna her friends sat with me doing the yarn tasting when I asked her about her charity. What I thought to be ladies on a mission turned out to be a very personal story from the founder, Donna Atkinson-Wilson.
Donna reflected with me about over 11 years ago, she dealt with significant loss with losing her mother and grandmother at the same time. Emotionally, she was done and was literally dangling on the end of a string with the balance of her own life looking straight at her in the reflective pool of life. Thoughts of carrying on and committing suicide with such great loss were decisions she was pondering as she was trying to figure things out.
Through the pain, she was crocheting scarves and hats for youth size as a way to deal. Let’s face it, many of us in crochet turn to crochet to cope and mentally deal with life’s hardships. We can easily empathize with her story as many of us use crochet for the same reasons.
With a massive surplus of hats, she found a location to take them off her hands. She was called two days later that all of her items were gone and if she is able to, would she do more to help the homeless teens and other teens who might not have the opportunity to have warm winter gear. Let’s not deny that London, here in Ontario Canada can get frigidly cold in the winter. This is a need, not a want.
Donna began again to make more and realized something life changing. She is using crochet to deal with her feelings but the crochet items she is making is helping to improve the lives of others. With this sense of renewal, Donna found a purpose within herself to reach out to others. Something she would have never expected.
Sitting with Donna yesterday, I could tell she is passionate about her charity. I can tell she is doing the charity of out love and for all the right reasons. Her fellow team members that were with her, Jane Anne and Amanda were equally enthusiastic about participating and the need for being charitable at heart.
My friends of The Crochet Crowd, this is a fine example of turning emotional pain into emotional gain. A story of heartache and despair turned into a moment of renewal and difference in others. A story of love. A story where many of us can reflect where some people laugh we can crochet or knit… but little do the people who mock crafting as dumb or stupid realize that with a ball of string, crochet hook or knitting needle, we have the power to keep others warm through our own desire to help and create. This my friends is the story of Keeping Kids Warm.