Last week I read an article about an older woman named Mildred Swartz who crochets for charity. There isn’t anything terrifically outstanding about this, I suppose. I frequently write about women in their eighties, nineties and even older who crochet as much to keep themselves occupied as to contribute positively to the world around them. And yet, I still feel drawn to read each and every example of these women that comes across my desk because they are all so unique in the way that they do this creative crafting charity work.
Mildred, for example, is a 94 year old woman who has lived in the same Kansas town her entire life (and the same physical home for more than seven decades!) It takes her several evenings to crochet a soft cap, which she donates to various causes including the Salvation Army. Most recently she chose to donate some of her work to a group called the Pistol Packin’ Mamas.
The Pistol Packin’ Mamas are a group of a dozen and a half Kansas women who have come together to raise women for cancer research. In the five years that they’ve been doing this they’ve raised nearly $40,000. The caps that Mildred has crocheted are chemo caps that the group will give to patients in need.
She’s not the only woman who has offered such a gift but she’s probably the only 94-year-old Kansas woman who has lived in the same home for nearly all her life. And I guess that is why these stories always capture my interest. Because they can seem the same but there is a tale behind them that makes them unique. That’s what crochet is all about – many people might make hats or scarves or afghans but within each stitch is the history of a story not yet told.