In the last last year, high school students from Redlands have knitted squares to make 29 blankets for the Ebell of Los Angeles‘ Social Services Department to give to women cancer patients at Good Samaritan Hospital.
It all started when two Ebell members visited Helen’s Room at Good Samaritan Hospital. They were doing a site visit on behalf of the Ebell’s Rest Cottage Association’s grant making committee, which is part of RCA’s grant approval process.
The committee members, Cynthia Comsky and Gloria Droguett, were impressed with the efforts of the small volunteer operation providing support for women with cancer. In addition to the grant, Comsky offered to organize a knitting effort to make much needed blankets, hats and scarves for the patients. Temperature sensitivity and always feeling cold is one of the side effects of cancer treatment, plus hospitals are notoriously cold…so Helen’s Room was thrilled to have a source of new blankets they could offer to their clients, none of whom are ever turned away for financial reasons.
Comsky starting asking everyone she knew for yarn and if they wanted to knit squares of any color or type of yarn, which would be stitched together into blankets. Before long, Ebell members were knitting one a week at the club. The activity shifted to once a month and eventually everyone continued knit on their own, sending squares in from far and wide to be assembled into blankets.
And that’s where the high school students in Redlands come in. Sophia Frye and Emma Rogers, best friends since kindergarten, have enjoyed knitting and crocheting together for years. In middle school, they started making squares for the Ebell Club at the suggestion of Sophia’s mother, Amanda, who was an active member of the Ebell, even though she lives in Redlands. In their junior year of high school, the girls formed a club called Knitting for a Cause, known as KFC.
The Ebell Social Services Department supplied the yarn and the students crochet and knit. Most of the members did not know how to knit or crochet when they first joined. Through the instruction of peers, students have learned a new skill and contribute squares to the blankets. The club has grown from one to two clubs, and from six members to close to 50 members since December of 2016.
“These fabulous kids supply the loving labor,” Comsky told the Buzz. “KFC and Pass Pioneer 4H Club have made and donated 29 blankets! That’s 696 9-by-9-inch squares surpassing their original goal of just one blanket. Their original goal was to donate five blankets by the end of the school year (2017-2018) and to better the lives of others.”
Through this knitting effort, which Comsky began in 2013, the Ebell Social Services Department has donated over 165 blankets and “god only knows how many panchos, hats and scarves! I never count them, they are always just a large ball of stuff,” explained Comsky.
And the knitting continues.
“Someone asked me ‘when is this going to end,’ I said, ‘when there is a cure for cancer,'” said Comsky, who can be reached by email at [email protected] if anyone is interested in knitting or donating yarn for the cause.