Giving Back

Volunteers at St. Helen’s in Westfield Crochet Their Way to a Better World

Newborn babies don red hats made by the 4Cs in honor of American Heart Month. Credits: Newark Beth Israel Hospital
Members of the 4Cs at their first meeting.
Michael Fusco and Alesia Porter
Members of the 4Cs at St. Helen's crochet hats for babies and homeless people.
Natasha Vega with some of the hats she created for newborn babies.

WESTFIELD, NJ — The Christ Centered Crochet Club (a.k.a. the 4Cs) at the Parish Community of St. Helen is giving back to community one hat at a time.

Since the club began in October, they’ve gathered two times each month, according to Alesia Porter, the church’s Kids 2 Jesus Youth ministry coordinator and club director. The group began by making hats for newborn babies.

“We crochet and pray for the infants that will receive the hats. We deliver 30 baby hats to Newark Beth Israel Hospital each month,” she said. “We have anywhere between 15-20 members at each gathering.”

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At first, participants were kids in fourth grade through high school. A Girl Scout troop from Garwood has joined  since then, as well as adults from the parish.

“With the excitement of the club we are in the process of offering seniors in our parish to participate,” Porter said.

In February, the 4Cs participated in the American Heart Association’s Little Hat, Big Heart program, donating 101 red hats for newborn babies at NBI in honor of American Heart Month.

“The Little Hat Big Heart AHA program seemed to channel right into our ministry,” Porter said. “I phoned the AHA and there was no state representative for New Jersey, so I took it upon myself to gather the AHA paperwork from the Maryland representative, Michelle Nostheide, who was so excited to share with me.”

NBI held a photo shoot with some of the newborns wearing the hats.

As the club grows, Porter said it will branch out, with adult members beginning to make hats for homeless people at St. Joseph's Social Service Center in Elizabeth.

“After you help someone, you get this amazing feeling,” said Natasha Vega, fifth grader at Terrill Middle School and parishioner of St. Helen's. “You get that feeling because you know that you did something right or that you’re doing something right. That is how I feel when I knit the hats. I feel that I am helping all the babies that get the hats. Every hat that I make I take time on it and make it with love. I hope every baby that is getting these hats feels warm and loved.”

Michael Fusco, Director of Religious Education at St. Helen's Church, added, "I'm very proud of Alesia Porter and the girls of 4C's Club. Saint Helen’s mission is to put our faith into action and to make an impact on the community. With this project we are doing both.”

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