One thing I love about being part of the knitting community is that so many of the members give so generously of their time and talents to reach out to others when their worlds have been shattered.
One such way is the lovely new tradition of knitting prayer shawls to be given to people in need of comfort. I have the privilege to be counseling 2 very sweet kids who have recently lost their father in a tragic and violent accident. While the kids have been shielded from the details, their mother has had to deal with the entire situation and has been very traumatized. I spoke with her today, and she told me about how someone from her church covered her with a prayer shawl at the beginning of the funeral and what a comfort she had gotten from it.
Last night, the young daughter, who was very close to her father, couldn't fall asleep. She told her mother she was feeling very sad and was very lonely for her father. Her mother tucked her back into bed and covered her in the prayer shawl, telling her it would help her to sleep. The little girl fell asleep soon afterwards.
The next morning, she went downstairs smiling. When her mom asked how she had slept, she said that she had dreamed about her father. She couldn't remember the dream, but told her mother she knew that it was wonderful. She asked to sleep with the prayer shawl the following night so she could see her father again.
I cried a little when I heard this story, not just because I love this family, but also because I heard for myself the healing power the handknits we donate to strangers in need can have. Each one of you who has knit or crocheted something that you have given with the purpose of comforting someone else is my hero. Knitters truly can change the world - one handknit at a time.
So on that note, I have the winners of my Greensburg Squares contest. I went through all of your comments that said you had sent at least one square. This weekend, I visited your blogs and read about your squares. I have had a great time getting to know you all and thank each one of you for opening your hearts to these poor people who have lost their homes and their entire town.
The person who knitted the most squares was Spinning Jenny. In fact, she kind of blew away the competition because she knit enough for an entire afghan (48) and then she stitched them together and sent the completed afghan! The other neat thing is that she started her blog in response to my contest. If you get a chance, drop by and look at the great job she did!
The second place winner is Amanda, who sent 20 squares and 2 hats. How she found time to do all that knitting while attending law school is a mystery to me but I appreciate her for doing it. Hop over to her blog, scroll down and take a look at some of the other beautiful items she has made - probably instead of studying. When I was in graduate school, I'd even resort to vacuuming if it meant putting off studying, but I digress.
Next, Mr. C assisted me by drawing a name from all of the contest winners. I wrote everyone's name on a piece of paper, folded them all up, put them in a little box and asked him to pick a name. (He humored me, but secretly thinks I'm not playing with a full deck. Little does he know he's right.)
And the winner of the random drawing was the lovely bride-to-be, Cole. Cole, what with the wedding preparations and the honeymoon and such, how you will find time to knit is beyond me, but a girl can never have enough stash, can she? Everyone please go and visit Miss Cole and congratulate her, okay? And offer her your very best piece of wedding advice (or your best recipe if you can't find anything nice to say about marriage!)
And finally, I want to thank all of you who helped to rebuild Greensburg with your squares of love. I'm adding you all to my links list because YOU ALL ROCK!