Few things symbolize the holiday season quite like a crocheted scarf from Grandma or a favorite quilt next to the fire.
The women at Common Threads, a local sewing club that meets at the Richmond Hill Public Library, have been spreading that tradition throughout the area for the past four years. This holiday season, they’re hoping library patrons will return the favor.
“All of the items are made by club members,” said Naomi Fay, a Common Threads member who has helped put together a seasonal fundraiser at the Richmond Hill Public Library. “We participate in a lot of fundraisers throughout the year, but this is really the first one that will pool money back into Common Threads for things like batting and materials.”
Common Threads is made up of women who love to knit, sew or quilt and want to learn how to do it better. But the group also donates handmade hats, scarves, blankets and various other knitted items to more than 17 organizations and charities throughout Coastal Georgia, as well as many local families in Richmond Hill that have members undergoing medical treatments.
Longtime member Kathy Harris has undergone her own cancer treatments and now specializes in handmade chemotherapy caps for individuals undergoing treatment.
Like Harris’ chemo caps, Fay notes that all of the items made by Common Threads come from a place of compassion and empathy.
“Some of our members have made hats for the Wounded Warriors Project that are specially made out of wool,” Fay said. “Wool is one of the only materials that won’t melt and the soldiers will often wear them as guards under their helmets.”
Gabriel House, Lewis Cancer Center, the Children’s Hospital at Memorial and the Richmond Hill Pregnancy Care Center are just a few of the charity organizations that Common Threads donates to throughout the year.
Made up of about 40 members, the club meets twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon to exchange fabric, patterns and advice. For them, Common Threads is an outlet to share stories, encouragement and each other’s lives, but it is also an opportunity to extend that same encouragement to those in their community who need it most.
“We try to keep an eye out for those people that need our help the most, people who have been through a surgery of some kind and need a little extra support,” Fay said.
The “Crafts for the Holidays” fundraiser began on Oct. 1 and will continue through Nov. 15 with a silent auction at the Richmond Hill Public Library. Operating on an honesty policy, Common Threads sells most items for about $5 and counts on customers to drop their money into a change jar on the table.
Fay said she estimated the group has raised about $300 so far, which will be funneled back into the group so they can continue buying fabric and supplies.
Though Fay said she and the rest of the group will continue sewing, knitting and quilting for the simple joy of it, their community’s support will allow them to continue donating to charity.
To support Common Threads, visit their craft table at the Richmond Hill Public Library from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday or attend their silent auction every day from Nov. 1-15.