For another year, the Knitting and Crochet Club at The Legacy Willow Bend senior living center have turned their hobby into service to the community. The knitters and crocheters - Jean Spence, Vy Hansen, Jo Frie, Christina Chan and Sundra Culver - make hats, scarves, dolls, washcloths and blankets while watching television, in car rides and more.

The club was created by Carol Sobel about eight years ago. Each Monday, the knitters gather yarn from their projects and submit the completed pieces at the end of the week. Everyone knits at their own speed, but through their dedication and crochet obsession, they created over 3,500 pieces.

Each year, the knitters selected a handful of nonprofit, to donate their year’s worth of effort, and this year’s nonprofits included the Dallas Police Department, Girl Scouts Troop #953, Hope’s Door /New Beginning Center, the International Refugee Committee and Pebbles Apartments, the  Jewish Family Service, the Plano Police Department, Streetside Showers, Vickery Meadow Food Pantry and Clothes Closet, Christ United Methodist Church and Cochran Chapel United Methodist Church.

This year, 10 nonprofits received 1,500 adult scarves, 30 dolls, 30 blankets, 90 washcloths and over 1,300 hats. Residents also donated 428 toiletries - toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and shampoo - to the Streetside Showers to accompany the towels for the homeless. Each organization had different plans for pouring their donations back into Plano. Jana Grimore of Christ United Methodist Church said the church is donating its haul to Plano ISD’s School-Age Parent Program, dedicated to serving teen mothers in the area. Hope’s Door/New Beginning Center, a local domestic violence advocacy center, plans to donate its haul to the clients they’ll serve in Plano and in Garland.

“We’re excited to have this kind of support and gifts that we can include for the holidays for our clients,” said Beth Robinson of Hope’s Door/New Beginning Center. “I’m sure we have a lot of residents and clients who will be happy to be warm and toasty with your wonderful work. Thank you so much.”

Plano police received over 550 pieces for its Christmas Cops program, an annual event where officers give back to families in need during the holiday season. As the program has grown, more families will receive food, toys, coats and handmade donations from the Legacy Knitting and Crocheting Club. Last year, Plano PD received hats, scarves and gloves from the knitters. This year, they will continue to share these gifts with the community.

“This is something that meant so much to everyone last year, to have something that was made with so much love and so much pride. And it means so much to our organization, Christmas Cops, to be able to make it part of what we’re giving back to the community as well,” said Plano PD spokesman David Tilley

Girl Scouts Troop #953 of Plano will donate over 400 pieces of hats, scarves and socks to three different nonprofits - Dallas Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), TOMS, which provides shoes, water, bullying prevention and service to people in need; and Communities in Schools, which helps underprivileged students.

Lance Olinski, owner of Streetside Showers, offers shower to homeless people throughout Plano, McKinney and soon Dallas. Olinski received 90 handmade washcloths and several toiletries.

Whenever homeless men and women use his showers, he gives them a washcloth to use, and a washcloth to take with them. Olinski hopes his clients will see these towels and know someone loves and cares for them.

“A washcloth: it’s made with love. It’s helping restore dignity. And not only that, they’re beautiful,” he said. “How much more valuable is this? Someone hand crocheting something that’s made with love.”

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