By VASHTI HARRIS
SPOTSWOOD – Quick and light with their hands, the members of Nimble Fingers donate the items they crochet and knit to people in need.
A group of 10 members creates new items such as hats and blankets to give to different non-profit organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, local Veterans Administration hospitals, the Roosevelt Nursing Home and the Spotswood Reformed Church, according to Beth Blatt, administrative assistant and program coordinator for the Spotswood Office of Aging.
“I think [Nimble Fingers] was created to give the seniors something to do with their time and to donate to organizations that needed help. We do nursing homes, we do Ronald McDonald House, [and] anybody that needs blankets for the seniors that are in nursing homes, in the dementia units or anything like that,” said Debbie Cangro, a member for the past 10 years. “So anything that we see that looks like it’s going to be beneficial to somebody else we will make something.”
Nimble Fingers began almost 20 years ago, according to Blatt, meeting every Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Spotswood Office on Aging.
Linda Gabinelli has been a member for four years and said that she first started knitting when she was a teenager.
“When I was 16 years old a woman from my neighborhood showed me how to crochet a napkin for my mother and a few knitting patterns and then she moved away so that was the end of it and I didn’t do it again until four years ago,” Gabinelli said. “When I joined the center after I retired and I saw they were doing this I joined [Nimble Fingers] to learn how to make different things.”
Ansuya Amin has also been a member of the group for 10 years and said that she began crocheting and knitting in her native country.
“When I was young in India they had at my school a program once a week where they would show us how to crochet and knit, so I learned from that. Then my mother sent me to some school where I learned about crocheting, sewing and knitting so I learned a long time ago,” Amin said. “I stopped knitting for a while but I did a little when I was in Africa. I did embroider, knit and crochet, but when I moved to London I would work a lot so I gave up knitting, and then I came to [the United States] and started again.”
The group members agree they enjoy the altruistic side of the program.
“I think it’s great and it’s nice to know that the stuff that you are making is being put to good use [by] people that can use it. Some people cannot afford to have warm blankets and for the elders it’s nice, because they like the warmth, number one, and they like receiving gifts, so to see the joy on their faces, you just can’t put a pricetag on it,” Cangro said.
Gabinelli said she likes being a member of the group because of the social and charity aspects.
“I find it’s relaxing and we socialize and I like the idea of donating things to people,” she said.
For more information about Nimble Fingers or to make a donation of yarn, call 732-251-3432 or visit www.spotswoodboro.com/officeonagingpage14.html.
Contact Vashti Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.