What are you thankful for this holiday season? Friends, family, a home? Many will be grateful this time of year for the simple gift of warmth and comfort.

What seems like a small gesture of looping yarn together into multi-colored gifts has meant so much for local charities and community organizations. Started by Hanc Weiner, a Northbrook resident, over 30 years ago, the Northbrook Park District Senior Center’s Knitting and Crocheting Group has been operating under the mission of giving back for decades.

This group is a free drop-in program for Senior Center members and is comprised of creators who have been knitting and crocheting since they were young to some who have just recently taken up the needles and hooks. It is never too early or late to learn which makes it a great activity for everyone. The group is always welcoming new members and often teaches skills to beginners.

The knitters and crocheters also do a tremendous amount of charitable work and keep a binder documenting their donations. The historic binder is full of thankful letters and photos showing how their creations have made an impact in the community. From Veteran’s homes to children’s hospitals their generosity has been well documented.

Their most recent contribution was for Illinois State Senator Julie Morrison’s donation drive to help keep local kids in foster care warm this winter. The Foster Children Pajama Drive coordinated with the Northbrook Public Library put out a call for pajamas, socks and gloves, and the Knitting and Crocheting Group answered the call with a colorful array of hats, mittens and scarves.

Illinois State Senator Julie Morrison with Senior Center Knitting and Crocheting Group
Illinois State Senator Julie Morrison (2nd from left) with Senior Center Knitting and Crocheting Group

On Wednesday, November 17, State Senator Morrison came to the Northbrook Park District Senior Center to personally thank the group. Morrison presented the group with a Certificate of Recognition for their generous donation of handmade items.

“The effort and talent shown in the beautiful handmade items created by the Knitting and Crocheting Group is remarkable and very much appreciated. During this giving season, our community showed up to donate hundreds of pajamas to keep kids in need warm this winter. It’s thanks to our partners, like the Northbrook Park District and the Northbrook Public Library that our pajama drive is such a great success” stated Senator Morrison.

Looking to make a difference this holiday season? Help support the amazing efforts of the Northbrook Park District Senior Center’s group.

The volunteer leader of the Knitting and Crocheting Group, Phyllis Kosner said, “We are low on yarn and we need help. If you are knitting and have leftover yarn drop it off here. We love leftovers, we do patchwork, we take pieces and make blankets from nothing and people are thrilled to have them. If you don’t knit but want to donate, we are thrilled and grateful for gift cards to stores that carry yarn.”

If you are interested in joining the group or making a donation of yarn, contact the Northbrook Park District at 847-291-2995. The group meets weekly on Wednesdays from 10am to noon at the Leisure Center, 3323 Walters Avenue, Northbrook. Donations are also received at this location. Interested in joining the Senior Center? Call 847-291-2995 for details.

The Mission of the Northbrook Park District is to enhance our community by providing outstanding services, parks and facilities through environmental, social and financial stewardship.