December 25, 2005
25 Angels You Should Know:
Crocheter's group creates warm fuzzies for needy
BY ANGIE BRUNKOW
|WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
Joleen Richwine knows what hard times are like.
One year, she made 100 hats and scarves herself.
She works at Creighton University as the senior
administrative assistant for the political science and
international relations department.
A co-worker taught her how to crochet 25 years ago.
When she was growing up, her parents divorced and her
mother struggled to provide for Richwine and her sisters.
"It's very important to give back," she said. "I know
what it's like to have to go and use food stamps and the embarrassment
associated with that. If I can help somebody else . . . "
So when work friends at Creighton University asked
Richwine to teach them how to knit and crochet, she opened the group up
to everybody and turned it into a charity organization.
|25 angels you should know
Each day through Christmas, we'll feature a Midlander who does
good deeds during the holidays.
To suggest an "angel" for us to write about, contact Melissa
firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 444-1342.
The group donates everything it creates to local
charities and organizations, including homeless shelters, schools,
hospices, nursing homes and domestic abuse shelters. The group has
donated nearly 1,500 hats, gloves, scarves, lap blankets and other
The group meets monthly over the lunch hour at work,
but members plug away at their projects at home.
"This was an outlet we all needed," she said. "It's a
really easy charity to be involved in. You don't have to get in the cold
car, scoop snow. You can do as much or as little as you want."
Richwine serves as cheerleader. She asks club
members: "Don't you feel the chill in the air? Wouldn't it be a great
weekend with the rain coming to sit and crochet?"
Other Creighton staff members help by donating yarn
and knitting needles.
"We give it away to people we never meet, but it
makes us so happy," Richwine said. "It's almost like giving someone a
hug. You're giving them a gift of warmth. It's showing them that
somebody loves them."
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