Green

Stitch In Time Knits To Aid Homeless Vets

Spotswood knitting group delivers mats for homeless vets that they fashioned from recycled plastic bags. Credits: Diane Charlesworth
The ladies received a "warm reception" for their community-wide endeavor at the All Wars Memorial Building in Atlantic City. Credits: Diane Charlesworth

SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Plastic bags are never in short supply whether they're from Shop Rite, Target or any local shop. The question is what do folks do with all of the plastic bags that accumulate around the house. Well, a group of knitters found the perfect answer; knit sleeping mats for homeless vets.

Diane Charlesworth and Lorraine Sardone are part of a local knitting group called Stitch in Time. The group formed at the Spotswood Public Library when Charlesworth started a Thursday afternoon knitting and crochet club at the Main Street library two years ago. Today, the group of seven meets a few doors down at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. The enthusiastic group of knitters and crocheters recently completed a community-wide project that was near and dear to their hearts.

The ladies crocheted 20 mats for homeless veterans. While the actual crocheting of the mats took approximately three and a half months for the seven crafters to put together, the endeavor required the effort of many.

Sign Up for E-News

First up, of course was the collection of plastic bags. Sleeping mats can be knitted or crocheted from plarn. Plarn is simply yarn that is made from plastic bags. The first step in knitting the mat is the mass collection and sorting of those plastic bags everyone has lying around their homes.

Brian's Lawnmower & Saws Sales on Manalapan Road became a staging point for the massive collection of plastic bags, agreeing to accept and store bag donations. It actually takes about 600 to 700 bags to make one three foot by six foot mat. The Ladies Auxiliary from American Legion Post 253 also had a hand in the prep work behind the actual mat making.

"The ladies from the Women's Auxiliary of the American Legion were especially kind and SO interested in helping us," Charlesworth said about the support from fellow residents. "Going forward, I've said this before...it's all about networking. We will explore this potential more fully this summer. A special thanks to Sue Gallina-Engstrom and all the great people at Brian's Lawnmower Service for graciously offering to be a collection point for the recycled plastic shopping bags we needed to make these mats."

On May 16, Charlesworth and Sardone traveled to Atlantic City to deliver their mats to the All Wars Memorial Building.

"The NJ American Legion was conducting a 'Stand Down' where veterans are provided with clothing, basic necessities, counseling services and other programs designed to help get the vets back on their feet, Charlesworth explained.

The ladies were met with smiles, handshakes and warm hearts. It was a reception that made all the hard work worthwhile.

"I'm not sure I have the words to fully explain what Lorraine Sardone and I experienced today when we delivered the sleeping mats to the people who will give them out tomorrow," Charlesworth said. "The warm reception we received was beyond our expectations! Mostly everybody seemed to know who were were and why we were there. I feel this is a relationship that will be ongoing for a long time!"

Charlesworth also had high words of praise for the other five ladies who had lent their knitting and crocheting skills to the huge undertaking.

"To my ladies, I wish all of you could have been there to feel the love," Charlesworth said. "I'm so far beyond proud of all of you and all you've done to make this dream a reality!"

Charlesworth first became interested in the mats for the homeless project after watching a Facebook video about a group of Tennessee "Bag Ladies" who had knitted 80 sleeping mats for homeless folks in their area. The video inspired Charlesworth to take on the task in the Garden State and judging by the positive response, those 20 mats won't be the last constructed by the Stitch in Time ladies.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

South Brunswick-Cranbury

Police Blotter

August 2, 2016

 

 

Sponsored by Reilly's Collision Center in Monmouth Junction. Click here and scroll down for the latest updates and alerts from South Brunswick and Cranbury Police.

See the most recent messages from South Brunswick Twp Police Department, powered by Nixle.

Sign up to receive messages by email & text message.

Upcoming Events

Sat, June 3, 12:00 PM

The Lodge at Thompson Park, Monroe Township

Music and Traditions from the Andes with Pepe ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Sat, June 3, 8:00 PM

Temple B'nai Shalom, East Brunswick

Casino Night

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink Giving Back

Sun, June 4, 10:00 AM

Giralda Farms, Madison

5K Run and Walk for Hope

Giving Back Health & Wellness Other

South Brunswick Arts Commission Opens New Exhibit At Municipal Building

May 27, 2017

Did you like this story?

Give us your feedback at ckim@tapinto.net or nwells@tapinto.net and click here to express your support for local news today.

If you did like it, please share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to "Like" our Facebook Page!

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android - Click ...

Somerville: Collaborative Bicycle Sculpture Installed on Division Street

May 29, 2017

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Artists and art students from Somerville High School, Immaculata High School, the Arts School of Newark and Middle Earth spent Saturday morning and afternoon assembling an interactive outdoor bicycle sculpture on Division Street in conjunction with the 74th Tour of Somerville Cycling Series.

New Jersey artist and arts educator Bob Richardson designed the sculpture, and has ...

Franklin Township: Somerset Man Charged with Sexual Assault of 4-year Old

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - David Lutz, age 31 of Somerset was charged with second-degree sexual assault and third-degree endangering the welfare of a child, according to law officials. 

"On Thursday, May 25, at approximately 3:25 p.m. Franklin Township Police responded to a 9-1-1 call that was placed from a local business," Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson said in a ...

Missing Endangered Juvenile from Bloomfield Essex County

BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The Bloomfield Police Department is seeking assistance in locating the attached missing juvenile. We are asking anyone who has seen or come in contact with this juvenile to contact the Bloomfield Police at (973) 680-4141.

Jack was last seen by his parents on 05/22/2017 at 07:15. Jack is a student at Bloomfield High School but was absent today. No clothing description ...

South Brunswick Arts Commission Opens New Exhibit At Municipal Building

May 27, 2017

Did you like this story?

Give us your feedback at ckim@tapinto.net or nwells@tapinto.net and click here to express your support for local news today.

If you did like it, please share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to "Like" our Facebook Page!

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android - Click ...

Ron Rios: County Addresses Pancreatic Cancer

May 25, 2017

Pancreatic Cancer is now the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. It is predicted that by the year 2020, it will have moved to the second leading cause. It is called ‘silent killer’ because of how difficult it can be to diagnose until it is in its later stages. These factors, combined with the unknown cause of the disease, have led the medical community to call for greater ...

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (Harper Collins, 2015)

Shauna Evans, a Special Education teacher at Schor Middle School in Piscataway, is guest writing Beth's Books this week. Evans, an avid reader, currently is working on her first novel in Young Adult fiction. A former columnist for the on-line magazine,“Examiner,” Evans covered the television show, ...

Merchant of Venice Makes Memorable Opener at Shakespeare Theatre

MADISON, NJ – “The Merchant of Venice” has plenty to say about prejudice, suspision, money and cruelty.

Yet it has redeeming features as well, with Portia’s “quality of mercy” speech and Shylock’s insistence that Jews are individuals with feelings, thoughts and emotions as much as any other man or woman.  

Director Robert Cuccioli has gathered ...

Casino Night to Feature Live Entertainment and Chance to Win Prizes --- Tickets Available Now for Enjoyable Evening Event on Saturday June 3rd ---

May 25, 2017

          Temple B'nai Shalom in East Brunswick will host its Casino Night on Saturday, June 3rd at 8:00pm, a fun & elegant evening of games, live entertainment and the chance to win prizes.
          Attendees can try their luck at various games such as blackjack, roulette, poker and a money wheel.  The Premier Sponsor of the ...

Free Model Railroad Event Coming to Union County

 Model train fans are in for a treat on June 10, when The Model Railroad Club, Inc. waives its usual Saturday admission fee and opens its doors from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. for a public viewing of its annual invitational operating session.

The nonprofit Railroad Club’s sprawling HO scale layout is noted throughout the region for intricate detail and historic portrayal.

The free entry ...

Innovations In Special Education Award Is A ‘Shining Moment’ for BBLC

 Being one of only seven schools in New Jersey to receive an “Innovations in Special Education Award” at a ceremony held at the Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village, was a special occasion  for Bright Beginnings Learning Center (BBLC) students, faculty and  parents.

“It was a great honor for BBLC’s Coding and Robotics Club,” said Case Manager Kate ...