A “Staycation” Ministry

By Cindy Lynk
St George’s, Belleville

Remember the good, old grade school days when your first writing assignment of the new school year was “How I Spent My Summer Vacation?” Trying to dredge up something interesting to write about after my uneventful summer activities was always a great fear of mine when I had to compose the assignment. Our family never took trips or did anything remotely exciting! We stayed at home and my sisters and I were bored most of the time.

This COVID-19 Staycation reminds me of my childhood summers in some ways, but not in others. With this new time on my hands, the sheltering has allowed me to get a jump on my knitting for this coming Angel Tree in December.

Last October, I began to work on caps, mittens, and scarves for the Christmas Angel Tree project at church. The Angel Tree project serves boys and girls in the Belleville area who might not have adequate winter clothing to keep themselves warm. I wanted to ensure that these children had items for the cold winter season.

Because I am sheltering in place and have had the opportunity to reorganize my yarn stash as a part of my New Year and Birthday resolution, I no longer have to hunt through countless bags of yarn! Now that I am able to easily find what I need in my new see-through plastic bins, I’ve been able to quickly knit some of the boys’ caps and mittens!  I ran out of time to get enough sets knit to give them last Christmas, which is why I chose to work on the boys’ sets right now.

Last year, I was able to knit three baby caps and booties, three scarves and matching mittens, and about 15 cap and mitten sets. Fortunately, at St. Mark Lutheran, there is a Fiber Arts group and they were able to crochet caps, as well as knit scarves. I knitted countless mitten sets to match the items that they provided. In addition, Mary Mathus of St. George’s contributed about 10 scarves that she had sewn out of fleece fabric. I found out after the fact that we were provided 67 wish lists of needy children.

To date, I am knitting my 23rd cap and mitten set, which is for a 10-12 year old boy. I focused on the boys and will move onto babies after I reach my goal of 24 cap and mitten sets. By knitting with a goal in mind, I find that boredom with this project is set at bay! I am hopeful that we’ll be able to help keep all of those children warm this year!