One-by-one, nearly a dozen women filed into the Craft Room at the Johnston Senior Center, as Terese Quintin motioned to a pile of blankets, hats, scarves and mittens.
“This is the result of weeks of work,” Quintin said. “We meet every Friday morning from 10 to 11:30; we did this at the old senior center but our group has really grown a lot since those days. We’re really proud of this year’s special donation.”
Quintin was speaking of the JSC’s Knitting Group that recently donated a host of items that she noted “will hopefully keep a lot of people warm when the cold weather comes.”
Diann Boyajian, who is a long-time volunteer with Charter Care, then issued a heartfelt thank you to the ladies who make up the Knitting Group, who for weeks knitted the piles of items.
“We’ll be taking many of these items to homeless shelters in Providence, Cranston, Warwick, West Warwick and Coventry,” said Boyajian, who lives in Warwick and works year-round in hopes of getting donations like the one her Charter Care non-profit group received last week. “There’s a team of us who collect items all year long.”
As she and Quintin began packing those carefully knitted and colorful items into containers, Boyajian added that the donation is especially important this year.
“We had a mild winter last year, but people are definitely going to need these items this year. They’re saying we’re going to have a cold winter,” she said.
The Knitting Group will continue to meet and knit weekly. They are always looking for donations of yarn, which can be dropped off at the senior center. Guests are also welcome to attend a knitting session at 10 a.m. on Fridays.
While the Knitting Group focused its efforts on cold-weather items in recent weeks, the volunteer organization will expand its program and soon will include chemotherapy caps.
“There’s no need for people who are battling cancer to be ashamed,” Quintin said. “We make pretty hats that we hope will make those people feel good.”
In addition to Quintin and Boyajian, other members of the Knitting Group who were on hand for the presentation were Ann Marandola, Helen Brochu, Patricia Baxter, Josephine Pursche, Jean Prinzo, Irene Gasbarro, Louise Rameika, Joan Tavares, Ann Forte and Mary Ann Barber.
“They’re quite the wonderful group,” said Marie Venditti, the center’s events and trips coordinator. “They all take great pride in what they did to make this donation. It’s a difficult time of year for some people; we’re proud of what the ladies did as a way of helping others.”