Never underestimate the power of an idea and a group of women. Back in 2005, one woman created the World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKPD) as a way to encourage knitters to come together and enjoy each other’s company. Over time, it evolved into the largest knitter and volunteer–run event in the world with an opportunity for people to knit for a cause. Growing from a mere 25 events in 2005, hundreds of World Wide Knit in Public Day events are now celebrated in over 31 countries including Australia, China, England, Finland, France, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the United States.
For the past two years, a WWKPD event has been held at the Franklin Township Branch library in Somerset, NJ, as a result of a collaboration between the library, Pam MacKenzie, Courier News Reporter and journalist for the Blog “In Stitches,” and the Franklin Woman’s Club (FWC), chaired by Bonnie Martin and Irene Fisler. This year, approximately 15 women gathered inside and outside the library on Saturday, June 9th. Their mission? To make purple baby hats.
As a result of community partners such as Pam MacKenzie’s knitters, the Knitting Club at Somerville Senior Housing, local knitters who created hats in advance, plus hats made at the actual event, 388 purple baby hats were made, which will be donated to Prevent Child Abuse NJ. The hats will be used as part of their educational initiative, The Period of PURPLE Crying® developed by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome (NCSBS). Currently, 14 NJ hospitals participate in this initiative by educating parents and caregivers about the characteristics of infant crying (previously referred to as “colic”) by using the acronym PURPLE and giving the baby a purple hat. It is hoped that the purple hat each baby receives, will serve as a visual reminder of the important message delivered during the pre – discharge classes. Educators emphasize that when this crying occurs, it is a temporary developmental phase and babies should never be shaken in frustration as this can damage the baby’s brain and lead to other severe injuries including death.
The acronym PURPLE represents:
- When to expect Peak crying phases
- The Unexpected nature of crying
- The baby’s Resistance to being comforted
- The Pained facial expression commonly seen
- The Long-lasting duration of the episode
- And the tendency for crying episodes to occur during the late afternoon or Evening.
The 2018 World Wide Day of Public Knitting provided the reason to get together. The women saw it as an opportunity to contribute to an important educational and child safety initiative.
An idea, a group of women and a mission…..great things happen when women work together!
If you would like to help, here’s how:
- Become a partner with the Franklin Woman’s Club (FWC) by knitting or crocheting a purple baby cap. For guidelines and patterns for knitted/crocheted baby caps, visit: http://clickforbabies.org/stitchers-club.
- Make a donation for the purchase of yarn. Please make check payable to the Franklin Woman’s Club, indicating “Click for Babies Campaign” in the subject line of your check and mail to: Franklin Woman's Club, P O Box 5793, Somerset, NJ 08875.
- Donate newly purchased skeins of (soft-to-the-touch) yarn in any shade of purple to the Franklin Woman’s Club. Call (732) 844-9002 and leave a message requesting that your donation of yarn or hats be picked up. A FWC member will contact you to make these arrangements.
If you would like to be part of a dynamic group of women, consider the Franklin Woman’s Club. The club, which is part of the General and New Jersey State Federations of Women's Clubs, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan and nonsectarian service organization committed to improving the community through volunteerism. In addition to community initiatives, the Franklin Woman’s Club also features frequent social and educational events for enrichment.
For more information about the Franklin woman’s Club, visit: www.franklinwomansclub.webs.com or can email inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow the club’s activities on Facebook, visit: http://www.facebook.com/franklinwomansclub.
For more information about Prevent Child Abuse – New Jersey (PCA-NJ), visit: www.preventchildabusenj.org.