I think we are all driven with the desire to help, the desire to give. But when it comes down to it, in this economic climate, it is hard to open our pockets books to help others when we also need to make sure we are taken care of. In times like these we tend to not realize that there are other ways to give. One of our contributors, Melanie Aswell, found that she could make a big difference through something she really loves, knitting.
In 2009, Melanie discovered that she could help save the lives of infants by simply knitting hats for the Save the Children – Knit One, Save One campaign. “This is the campaign that introduced me to the idea that simple and usually low-cost preventive measures that we take for granted (like hats, antibiotics, etc) can save a baby's life in places where those things aren't readily available.” Knitting hats for babies in places like Africa, Asia, and South America not only allows her to fulfill her desire to help others, it also allows her to have fun using yarns of bright colors and cool patterns that she would not otherwise use for herself. Melanie has also contributed hats to Caps for Kids in Boston. Each year hand-knit hats are distributed to Boston area children in need. “My favorite part about knitting for them is that they send out a tally and a few representative thank you notes from the kids every year. This past year they distributed 11,824 items to kids who needed them”.
It is not only about knitting for many various groups; she also knits for those who are close to her. When a friend’s toddler was sick in the hospital, Melanie knit a cover for his IV bag. This brought great joy and comfort to him, so much so, that he stopped pulling the IV tube out of his little hand. It is something so simple and yet she has a great impact on those she gives her knit goods to. We can all find ways to give of ourselves that are not taxing or daunting to the pocket book. It is the simple things we do that can often have the greatest impact in the lives of others.