Coming Together for a Cause: Elderly Helping the Young

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There are many instances in which individuals will pass by one another on a daily basis without having the opportunity of knowing their stories or interests. At The Gardens of Traville located in Rockville Md., however, there is a group of people who have gone from being acquaintances in the hallways of the community to uniting for a great cause.

Since October 2008, these individuals frequently meet to knit garments for people in need around the world. They are especially involved in ‘Save the Children — Warm up America,’ an organization for which they have shipped 125 baby caps and are well on their way to the next 50. With these caps that are donated from across the U.S., the organization has saved over four million babies.

The 11 knitters and nine “passive knitters,” who donate leftover yarns, have also donated 150 hats, mittens and scarves to a charity that helps children of abuse victims in Gaithersburg and Rockville. And it does not stop there with their list of future projects including working on liners for soldiers’ helmets.

According to Cynthia Farringer, the group consists of individuals who come from various locations and backgrounds. There are schoolteachers as well as an accountant, librarian and dancer, among many other careers. The former homelands of the group range from Germany, Italy and England to within the U.S. from Wisconsin to Montana and Maine.

Though their histories are quite unique, they now share a common bond while enjoying one another’s company and an overall sense of camaraderie at The Gardens of Traville, an independent living community, which many of them learned about from their children or on the Internet.

Ms. Farringer said that before coming together, they would simply have nodded greetings and pass the time travelling through their building. But, “Suddenly, as we sat and knitted, we talked and laughed, forgetting our aches and pains and finding the calming and therapeutic values in helping others,” Ms. Farringer says. “Now after 10 months, we are quite close, more like ‘family!'”

With hundreds of donated garments and counting, this group has not only achieved a great deal in their volunteer efforts, but most importantly, they have achieved friendships that have enabled them to make such an impact in the U.S. and different parts of the world.

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