BREWER (NEWS CENTER Maine) — Knitters wanted! Whether you are a knitting or crocheting pro, a novice, or maybe you've never picked up knitting or crocheting needles in your life but think it could be fun, there is a great opportunity right now for you to craft for a cause.
For the past six years, volunteers have stepped up to make scarves and hats for athletes participating in Maine's Winter Special Olympics.
The director of public relations for Special Olympics Maine, Lisa Bird, says it all started as a national project. "People were asked to make scarves for every special Olympics program in the country and we participated in that and it was fantastic."
It wasn't intended to be an annual project, but volunteers took it upon themselves to keep at it. "The following year all the people who made scarves specifically for Maine wanted to know what the new colors were, and we hadn't picked any! We decided to just keep going with it because it was such a great project."
The colors of the hats and scarves change every year. For the upcoming 2019 winter games (January 27-29), the colors are purple, blue and green.
Bird says getting the hats and scarves is a highlight of the games for the athlete.
"They're so excited and they're so proud, and they quickly put it on and they wear it all weekend. It just says to them that someone out there is really thinking of you, they're wishing you well, they're supporting you, they care about how you do."
It seems just as exciting for the people knitting the scarves and sending them in as it is for the athlete who receives them.
Volunteer, Bonnie Conary, says, "No matter what I'm knitting for, to see someone wearing it always makes me feel good."
If you're interested in volunteering Special Olympics Maine is looking for hats and scarves made with purple, blue and green yarn. You get to pick the shade and design and are encouraged to be creative with it.
Volunteers are also encouraged to send a letter along with their garment. If you'd like to give the athlete the opportunity to write a thank you note, then include a return address as well.
Most of the athletes are teenagers and adults, so the organization is looking for bigger sizes.
Send your hats and scarves to Special Olympics Maine's headquarters in South Portland:
Special Olympics Maine
125 John Roberts Rd
South Portland, ME 04106