Knitting for a cause
There are many ways to express your faith. For a Seaton woman, sharing what she knits and crochets, as well as attempting to get others to do the same, is her way of serving as a Christian.
"Last March, I went to a revival at the Baptist Church in Aledo," said Britni Ewing. "They were really talking about using your gift. I really believe God has gifted me in knitting and crocheting."
Through Facebook _ Comforting Crafts _ and an online community on the site Ravelry, Ewing has started an informal group that helps her collect hand knitted and crocheted hats, scarves, mittens and dish cloths. She is gathering items to donate to the annual Coat Drive held each fall at the Baptist Church. She also donates to the 180 Zone in the Quad Cities. The Christian group was founded by Rusty Boruff of Aledo, who is also the organization's executive director.
"I hope to expand this to more organizations once more donations come in," Ewing said.
She said she knows there are crafters who want to donate items but are unsure where to send things.
"It's an outlet for crafters," Ewing said. "The crafting community is a very caring, giving community. But, we can only make so much for ourselves. It's just a matter of sharing."
As a stay-at-home mom who home schools her daughter, she said she wondered how she could help those in need.
"How can I serve from my home?" Ewing said she asked herself. "This is a really easy way. It's definitely God pushing me to do more with my gift."
Knitting and crocheting was passed down to her from her mother and grandmother, making it an even more important part of her life. She said she wants to pass it on to her daughter.
"I feel like knitting and crocheting are really having a resurgence," Ewing said. "I guess it's cool again. If there's a day I don't knit, it's because I'm sick, basically."
She already gets donations friends from Galesburg, Monmouth, the Chicago suburbs and other parts of Illinois, as well as from Iowa, Florida and Pennsylvania.
Ewing has lovingly packaged donations in containers filled with scarves _ "any size, any she, any color" _ men's hats, dish cloths and more.
"One person donated a hat and matching glove set. It's always fun to see what comes in the mail," she said.
Anyone wishing to help Ewing expand her mission, or organizations open to donations, may contact her on Facebook, Ravelry, or send items to P.O. Box 3; Seaton, IL 61476.
"I want to get the word out so we can reach more people," Ewing said. "I do not collect money or sell anything, just give the items away to people to show God's love and help keep them warm."