Crocheting for a cause


| mchan@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan
THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Hundreds of U.S. soldiers are warmer now thanks to the Towers’ Knit and Crochet Club.

Winter winds may keep on howling, but hundreds of U.S. soldiers are warmer now thanks to the Towers’ Knit and Crochet Club.

The group — 35 members strong — knits for a good cause. For the last four to five years, the North Shore knitters have fashioned and donated hundreds of yarned creations to U.S. service members, mothers in need and battered women.

“It makes people feel good. People want to come together for the good of the community and for charitable causes,” said club leader Linda Cohen-Pignataro. “It gives us a really great feeling to be giving something to the community and to be supporting others. It’s all for charity.”

Club members meet once a week, every Thursday night from 6:30 to 9 p.m. to knit and crochet together. Among many others, their hard work has benefited the Reserve Center for Marines, Sailors and Airmen, the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 111th Fighter Wing, Warmth for Warriors, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and the Women’s Health Center in Jacobi Medical.

The handmade crocheted constructions vary from scarves, hats, blankets, baby caps and booties, depending on where they’re shipped.

“I made these for my babies when they were young, and now I’m still making them,” said club member Shirley Mendell, who said she has been knitting since she was little.

The 83-year-old speedy stitcher can knit one baby sweater — complete with cute baby animals on the front — in just one week.

“It makes me feel very good, and it keeps me busy,” she laughed.

The group donates at least six scarves a week to the Reserve Center in Lafayette, Pennsylvania.

“We have American soldiers in harm’s way. The most important thing that civilians can do is let the soldiers know we haven’t forgotten about them,” said club member Annette Mauer.We want the soldiers to know that there are civilians back home who really care about them.”

In fact, about a month ago, the 111th Fighter Wing awarded the Towers’ Knit and Crochet Club with a Certificate of Appreciation. The group also frequently receives “beautiful thank you notes” from the organizations they help.

“I enjoy that they appreciate this,” Mendell said.

To join the Towers’ Knit and Crochet Club, or to donate much needed material and money, call Linda Cohen-Pignataro at 718-224-2881.

To view more photos, see the North Shore Towers Courier’s January issue.