Bev Sanders, of Hamburg, PA has been knitting since her mother taught her when she was a child. Bev has been donating her time to Opportunity House since 2012. Sanders began volunteering at Opportunity House after she visited with a group from her hometown. After visiting with that group, Ms. Nancy, asked her if she would be interested volunteering with the children in the Second Street Learning Center.
A new program that has been started with some of the children at the Second Street Learning Center has been knitting with Sanders. Once a week, the children attending the after school program will bring their knitting needles and yarn that Sanders has supplied them, and they will continue knitting what they started weeks prior. Sanders also volunteers on Monday’s at the Second Street Learning Center with the younger children doing crafts that usually revolve around upcoming holidays.
Sanders currently teaches about ten students to knit, however each of them do not participate every Thursday afternoon. Sanders said, “I let the kids work at their own pace, I know how I was when I was a kid, and I would not have knitted if my mom pushed me to do it when I did not want to.” Some of the children that are involved in the program also work on the projects at home, either alone, or with their parents. One notable moment that Sanders remembers is when the one and only boy that participates in the program got picked up by his dad, and told his son that he used to knit when he was younger too. Sanders was very excited to hear that news.
The children that have been knitting started with knitting dish clothes, but are taking a break from that to pursue headbands. While they take a break from the dish clothes, they remain waiting on stitch holders so that the children will be able to start right back up where they left off.
Throughout the holiday season, Sanders is particularly busy with work for the children at the Second Street Learning Center. Every Christmas, Sanders brings gifts to the children in which she has knitted throughout the year. In years past, Sanders has knitted 104 pairs of slippers for the children, as well as 230 pairs of mittens. Sanders said, “All year, I think of something to do for the next year. It always takes a year to make the gifts too. This year I will be making over 200 gifts again!”
By: Travis Hoshauer, Albright College