LAURINBURG — A group of women at New Hope Baptist Church is sending “warmth, comfort, peace, and love” into the lives of those who need it most — one stitch at a time.
Formed in April, the church’s prayer shawl ministry involves a dozen members and has given out 104 handmade shawls and blankets to the sick and elderly.
“Mostly what we’ve been doing is friends and family in our church, and now we’re starting to do little hats and we’re going to start giving those to the chemo patients,” said Susan Hardie, who started the group.
The group, which proudly accepts the nickname “the grandma club,” meets at the church monthly to gather each member’s work and swap crocheting tips.
“I’m afraid this one’s going to turn out to be either/or,” Nelma Ciarrocca said while scrutinizing her in-progress blanket. “The way it’s curved, it could very well turn out that way.”
Most of the group’s handiwork reaches recipients through intermediaries — family members or health care providers. But feedback returns through the same channels as families express their gratitude.
“We get thank-you cards from the recipients telling them how much it meant to them to get these, especially those that are really, really sick,” said Ciarrocca, who said that the most rewarding part of the ministry is the chance to reach those who have little else to call their own.
“At Christmas there were two ladies who didn’t have anyone; it’s heartbreaking when there’s nobody there to see them.”
The group also plans to branch out to reach hospice patients and nursing home residents, injecting color and warmth into the lives of people they may never meet.
“We try to cheer them up with some colors and change around the colors to be more lively,” said Hardie. “There will always be people that will need them.”
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.