Handcrafted with love

Published 11:06 am Tuesday, December 19, 2017

AHOSKIE – Each gift served a two-fold purpose.

The brightly colored yarn was carefully handcrafted into lap blankets and neck/shoulder wraps, each donated to underprivileged residents at Accordius at Creekside of Ahoskie. But the actual gifts were just part of the presentation here on Dec. 12. There were other, more important gifts that were shared….sounds of the season and the love, complete with plenty of hugs, shown in abundance during the holiday season.

Heather Howie, Director of Aging Services for Hertford County, assists a Creekside resident as he tries a shoulder wrap presented to him as a gift.

“Charleen’s Angels” were the gift-givers. They are a group of apprentice knitters that meet twice a week at the Hertford County Office of Aging. Their founder, and instructor, Charleen Harrell, said the group enjoyed the project and each other’s company while completing the task at hand.

“We made a few mistakes, but we laughed them off and started over,” Harrell admitted. “We would pull it apart and start again, but what I saw was this group grow and learn tremendously from where they started. They’re my girls and today they’re angels.”

The hour-long event began with a few Christmas carols – Joy to the World, Go Tell It on the Mountain, and an individual performance of O Holy Night – followed by Biblical scripture regarding the birth of Jesus and a poem entitled Love is a special blessing.

“Like the love shown by and through Jesus Christ, these ladies have given their time and love to create lasting memories for the residents of Accordius at Creekside,” said Hertford County Manager Loria Williams who attended and took part in the singing of the carols and the presentation of the gifts to the residents.

“I am blessed and honored to be a part of a local county government organization that shows its heart and compassion, especially during this most wonderful time of the year,” Williams added. “I hope and pray we all have a blessed holiday season.”

Heather Howie, Director of Aging Services for Hertford County, noted the dedication of the crochet club to prepare these gifts for the nursing home residents.

“It was about a three month process….they met faithfully twice a week,” Howie said. “They put their love into each stitch and they wanted to share that love with each of you gathered here today. This is an extension of God’s love.”

Alicia Mitchell, the Respite Care Coordinator for the Office of Aging, also praised the crochet group and its instructor for their idea to help those in need.

“They talked about several projects before deciding on this one for the residents here at Creekside,” Mitchell said. “This was a great idea. What I’m seeing today, all the love, is wonderful. It really speaks of the true meaning of Christmas….the gift of giving.”

Hertford County Manager Loria Williams helps open a special gift for one of the residents of Accordius at Creekside of Ahoskie.

The project to craft the items to Accordius residents began in August. The group completed 42 items.

Each gift was individually bagged in holiday wrap and presented to the residents gathered in the facility’s dining room. The smiles, of both the giver and the receiver, were abundant.

Harrell, who learned crocheting from her mother and grandmother, said she loves to teach others this craft.

“I love it,” she stressed. “It makes me feel good to see those that I teach complete an item.”

In addition to continuing to hone their knit/crocheting skills, the group has other projects planned. They include using discarded vegetable cans that will be painted and then joined together to form holders for the home and office to store pens, pencils, scissors, etc.

The group welcomes donations of yarn and other items, or even monetary gifts. Those donations can be made to the crocheting class at the Hertford County Office of Aging. Call 252-358-7856 for more information.   

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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