By Megan Gross
In 1999 at the National Havurah Committee Summer Institute, I attended a workshop on tzedakah, where I learned how to crochet baby blankets and received a list of organizations to which I could donate these blankets.
When I came to Wellesley College, I knew that I wanted to continue what I had started so many years ago. An organization Newborns in Need provides blankets to impoverished families with low birth-weight babies for whom a warm blanket can make an enormous difference. I had the idea for organizing a "knit-a-thon" and devoting a day to knitting and crocheting items we could give to Newborns in Need, as well as other charitable organizations.
Wellesley College Hillel's social action committee decided to make baby clothing to donate to Boston-area hospitals and an afghan to donate to Project Linus, an organization that provides security blankets to children in trauma. Although this was the first time we have tried this on campus students, faculty, staff and Hillel alumnae, as well as the Wellesley Knitting Club, helped put together the popular project.
Interest in the project continues to grow. Some students have sent items that they made after the knit-a-thon was over. Others took supplies with them so they could continue working later. We plan on holding another knit-a-thon in the spring, when we can sit outside in the quad or on Severance Green. Taking the knit-a-thon outdoors gives it greater visibility and allows for us to share information about the organizations that will receive these blankets and items.
Megan Gross is a student at Wellesley College and the Wellesley College Hillel social action chair.