Making A Difference One Stitch at a Time
Every Wednesday afternoon from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., approximately 18 members (depending on the winter population) of Mt. Scopus Admiral’s Port Hadassah in Aventura, join together in the chapter’s Community Outreach Program, volunteering their time to knit soft blankets and colorful, warm caps for patients at local hospitals.
These thoughtful and talented women are all between the ages of 79 and 96. Many work on their knitting projects throughout the year, not only at their weekly meetings. The blankets and caps are carefully crafted and come in beautiful colors and different sizes; each is unique in its own way. They bring their beautiful hand crafted donations to hospitals where staff members can present them to patients and families who need them most.
Acting on a suggestion from a local physician, the group made a decision to donate their special contributions to North Shore Medical Center, who has the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in North Dade county.
Three of the group’s members, Annette Zipper, Millie Steinberg, and Lillian Garber, visited North Shore Medical Center on Tuesday, march 21, and presented the blankets to Elizabeth Levine, Director of Maternal/Child services, and her staff members.
The Mt. Scopus Admiral’s Port Hadassah outreach project got their beginnings in the Fall of 2003, when Irene Dorfman, Chairperson of the group, received a box of leftover yarn and knitting needles from a bookstore. Mrs. Dorfman decided to do some knitting and crocheting as an outreach project. One by one, more ladies joined in, and as they say, the rest is history!
“Every member contributes something,” says Annette Zipper. “I make pom poms and crochet blankets. Pearl Edelson unrolls the yarn and removes the knots, and also spends time writing the organization’s newsletter. Helma Seidel crochets a good portion of the blankets, 96-year old Hilda Katzen crochets booties, and Lillian Garber solicits donations for yarn, craft store coupons, buys the yarn and packages the blankets,” said Zipper.
Manny Linares, Chief Operating Officer says, “the amount of love that goes into each and everyone one of these unique blankets and caps makes a difference in the lives of our patients. Nobody makes anything by hand anymore. Knowing that each gift was crafted by an 80 or 96-year old person and ultimately wrapped around a tiny pre-mature infant or patient struggling through cancer treatment is very powerful – nothing is more important than the human touch that these ladies give to their project.”
The generous women of Hadassah not only make a difference in the lives of patients and families at North Shore Medical Center, they also make contributions to the children at other local hospitals, Miami Veterans Hospital, and two hospitals in Israel. Recently, they started knitting and donating warm booties to local hospice patients as well.
The Mt. Scopus Admiral’s Port Hadassah Chapter is comprised of more than 200 dedicated and concerned women in our community. They conduct fundraising events for various groups and causes including the visually impaired, Israeli orphans, and health and youth programs both here and in Israel.
If you are interested in making a donation of yarn, used yarn, coupons for Michael’s Crafts store, the Rag Shoppe, or a monetary donation to purchase yarn for their project, you can contact Barbara Plizga, Director of Marketing, Planning & Communications at (305) 694-3714.