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Chick-fil-A patrons crochet lap blankets for Dialysis Center

Main Street Suffolk Chick-fil-A
Main Street Suffolk Chick-fil-A
Janice B. Holland

The tight knit group has a theme: Crocheting for Love. Their purpose is to gather once a month (third Tuesday mornings at 9:00 a.m.) to make lap blankets for the local Dialysis Center at Sentara Obici Memorial Hospital.

Chick-fil-A is the "banner child" for community service in Suffolk.
Chick-fil-A is the "banner child" for community service in Suffolk.
Janice B. Holland

The Chick-fil-A on North Main Street in Suffolk, Virginia supplies everything needed and welcomes persons with all skill levels. One of their employees, Nancy O’Berry, teaches those who are rookies. Crocheters are welcome to bring their own hook, if they prefer, or donate any materials.

A Mr. Felton from Mike Duman Auto Sales made a donation which covered the cost of the August meeting. Hopefully there will be a comment from him in next month’s report.

At the group’s first meeting in July, only two people participated. Organizer Teri Jernigan was not sure what to expect at the second meeting, so was thrilled when five adults and three of their daughters joined together to crochet for love on August 19th.

Each of the adults were asked what prompted them to attend. Here’s what they had to say:

“My sister hooked me up. She had a flyer about it. I told her, ‘Sure!’ I’m not here particularly because of dialysis but just to be able to help somebody; I’m not attached to anyone on dialysis at the moment but know they have to sit for hours as they go through this life-saving process. … I already knew how to do a little crochet but I am honing my skills here.” – Sandra Knight

Sandra’s daughter, who is in high school, was also there to help others and to learn how to crochet.

Sitting across from Sandra was Cindy DeWitt. “I thought it was neat a group of people would get together and craft. I normally knit, but if I had to crochet to be in a crafting group, so be it! That we will be giving lap blankets to the Dialysis Center is just a plus.”

Janadean Ross and her middle school daughter were crocheting while the younger members of the family were in the Chick-Fil-A play area. According to Janadean, “It is fun. I have a difficult time making blankets for preemies in the NIC-U because it is so emotionally draining. To be able to make blankets for adults in dialysis helps me. I also make hats for cancer patients and skull caps for babies at Portsmouth Naval Hospital. … I think crocheting is becoming a lost art. I am glad to see it coming back. With my daughter also doing it, it is something we can enjoy together.”

Becca Kalina is a close friend of Janadean. She allowed, with a chuckle, that “you eventually run out of people you know that you can give blankets to. My husband’s grandmother died a few years ago while on dialysis. When I told him about this, he thought it was great. Funny thing, my husband knows how to make crochet hooks. He can also crochet – he learned how to while recovering from spinal cord fusion surgery.”

Deborah Mills, Sandra Knight’s sister, also brought her daughter, who is left-handed*, which presented special challenges to Instructor O’Berry because everything is opposite to how right-handers do it. Deborah said, “I’ve always wanted to learn how to make a blanket. I've known how to do the chain stitch since middle school and wanted to add to my skills. I made the longest chain-stitch piece known in the history of man (her sister, Sandra, had told me that earlier). My daughter taught herself how to do the chain stitch since I couldn’t help her because she is left-handed. We both wanted to enhance our skills and I didn't want my daughter to wait as long as I did to move to the next step.”

A sense of comradery was quickly established among the group. Chick-Fil-A provided iced coffee or iced tea for each as they worked and chatted amongst themselves. As they began separating after two hours of crocheting, they were excitedly discussing September’s meeting, which may not be on the third Tuesday of the month due to some scheduling issues. Check with Teri at (757) 538 – 0941 for more information.

*Janadean Russ shared www.crochetcrowd.com as a great site for those who are left-handed to learn how to crochet. If you are left-handed, you might want to give it a try.