Every Thursday, members of the Our Lady of Peace Church Prayer/Comfort Shawl Ministry gather in the church’s annex building to fellowship and knit and crochet items for others.
“What we accomplish here is joy,” said member Claudia Dortenzo.
Since 2004, the group has created and donated more than 674 shawls, lap robes and baby blankets to those who are in “a life transition or who need comfort in a time of healing,” said Dortenzo.
The items have also been given to those served by Meals on Wheels and residents of the Blue Goose.
Over the past few years, the group has also donated more than 580 hats, more than 60 scarves and 400 pairs of socks to those who visit the Golden Harvest Food Bank Master’s Table.
“We’re doing these to help people cope,” said Dortenzo of the donations. “It shows people we love them and we care. This ministry has been filled with many years of love.”
Each meeting begins with a prayer and ends with a prayer of blessing for the items that were completed. A card is included with each item with a scripture, information about the ministry and the name of the person who created the item.
“It reminds them that we’re praying for them,” said member Sara Hookness. “When they put the shawl around them, they are wrapped in prayer.”
The items do more than keep people warm, added Stephanie Brandmeir.
“You see them feel better,” she said. “They read the card and you can see the tension go away.”
Over the years, recipients have sent thank you cards to let the group know how much the items meant to them.
“We read these and we cry,” said Dortenzo. “It shows us that we’re doing what God wants us to do.”
Although the ministry is associated with Our Lady of Peace Church, the group is open to anyone who would like to join and help with their mission.
“If anyone wants to join, and wants to learn how to knit or crochet, they can come too,” she said.