Caring Hands: Knitting for Chicago's Homeless
For years, Trinity students have served those less fortunate than themselves by passing out sack lunches to the homeless, volunteering in neighborhood clean-up efforts, and tutoring in after school programs. Those that participate in Caring Hands find joy in serving with their hands as well, knitting and crocheting various items to be distributed to the homeless in Chicago and the suburbs.
Caring Hands has been in existence for three years as a subcommittee of the Service Committee, a group of students whose mission is to love “not only in word or speech, but in truth and action” (I John 3:18). According to Bethany Kerr ’11 of Joliet, Illinois, the chair of Caring Hands, the group’s goal is “to bring a little warmth into the lives of those who have no warm homes to go to, and in doing so, show them the love of Christ.”
“While the main goal of Caring Hands is to serve the homeless, it is also a service for the students.”
Anywhere from 4-12 students volunteer with Caring Hands each week, working on simple projects such as hats and scarves that can be quickly produced and distributed. The finished projects are given to the homeless by members of another subcommittee of the Service Committee called Sunday Snacks, a group that meets every Sunday to prepare and bring lunches to the homeless of downtown Chicago.
For Alyse Young ’11 of Denver, Colorado, Caring Hands is an opportunity to build relationships with people who she wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to meet. “As a Christian social work major, I feel that whatever skills we are given should be used to help those around us who are in need,” said Young. “I enjoy volunteering my time and feel that Caring Hands is just one of the many ways in which a community can be built.”
“While the main goal of Caring Hands is to serve the homeless, it is also a service for the students,” said Kerr. “It is an excellent way to relax from a stressful day of classes and work. The repetitive motion of the needles or hooks is very soothing, and there is nothing like the sense of accomplishment you get from creating something beautiful and useful with your own two hands.”
Materials for Caring Hands are provided by the Student Association budget. Kerr purchased several crochet hooks and sets of knitting needles along with yarn to get her volunteers started. “Members are more than welcome to use their own supplies,” said Kerr, “and we always welcome donations of yarn, which can get a bit pricey.”
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