TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County YMCA’s Crochet Club hosted its first-ever Made With Love event at The HOPE Center on January 6.
The Ocean County YMCA partnered with the national nonprofit Warm Up America! For the Made With Love event to provide warm winter items for those in need.
“Made with Love has been going strong for seven years now here in Dallas,” said Jenny Bessonette, Executive Director of Warm Up America! “We are so thankful for our national volunteers who generously host their own Made With Love events across the country.”
Andrea Amante, Crochet Club Program Coordinator at the Ocean County YMCA, suggested joining the Made With Love initiative with the goal of crocheting 1,000 items. Soon after, the members of the club worked hard to reach that goal.
“Not only did they tirelessly crochet projects, but they spread the word about our project far and wide,” Amante said. “As a result, the Ocean County YMCA Crochet Club was able to donate over 1,600 warm winter items to those in need in our community!”
Over 800 items were distributed to families and individuals during the winter at The HOPE Center. The other 750 gifts have been donated to local Code Blue Warming Centers and to a senior center.
“Throughout the pandemic, these women have continued to meet virtually and work on various other projects,” said Peter T. Rosario, President & CEO of the Ocean County YMCA.
The ladies in the Crochet Club crocheted caps for “CLICK for Babies: Crochet a Cap, Help Save an Infant”, and initiative organized by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. The club crocheted caps in all shades of purple that were distributed to new parents.
Another initiative the club took part in was “Hooked on Crochet” during Dr. Martin Luther King Week of Service. They crocheted nests for the millions of displaced and injured birds being rescued and rehabilitated as a result of wildfires in Australia.
“We hope and pray that these projects not only provide physical warmth to those who receive them, but also spiritual and emotional support knowing that each one of these projects was handmade for them with love and kindness by their fellow neighbors,” said Rosario. “This is what the YMCA is all about, strengthening the foundations of community.”
To learn more about Ocean County YMCA or to make a donation, visit ocymca.org.