Knitters for Charity make gifts for children in crisis

- Helping ease the pain of children in distress is the mission for a group of Pasco County women, who call themselves Knitters for Charity.

The group seems to bring out childlike behavior in grown women. They knit tiny outfits to put on stuffed animals, which are given to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Pasco deputies then give the cuddly toys to children during stressful family situation.

"90 of these bears will be gone in a month," said Knitters for Charity member Jerrie Hodge. "That's how many they give out."

In the past year, Knitters for Charity has bought and outfitted more than 900 furry, stuffed friends. 

Ann Mitchell's son works for the sheriff's department. He has told her about the positive impact the toys have to children who get them.  

"The children are sometimes frightened and don't know what's going on, and they give them a calming effect, and something that they can hold on to and love," Mitchell explained.

Margarette Hines started threading the needle at the age of four. Now, at 86, she's happy her lifelong hobby is still being put to good use.  

"We enjoy the fact that it is being used in a very specific way for the children," Hines said. "What's not to enjoy about it?"

The women meet once a week at the Hudson Regional Library to work on their craft. 

"We've become a sisterhood, like I would never have ever believed this could happen," Hodge added.

They also crochet or knit hats, scarves, blankets and other items to give away to schools and other non profit organizations.

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