By Desiree Williams
A kitting group at The Barrington of Carmel, a 19-acre independent living community, hit a milestone in November. The group, Chix with Stix, has knitted more than 1,000 hats and 235 blankets that have been donated to families with premature babies at local hospitals.
“It’s kind of a social thing that manages to accomplish some good at the same time,” said Joanna Wright, one of the first members of the group.
Wright moved to The Barrington when it opened in 2013 and found there were very few interest group activities. She worked with staff to start a group in January 2014 that focused on knitting, something she has always enjoyed. A staff member suggested donating the items to hospitals in need.
The women create hats and blankets in various colors, patterns and sizes to meet each family’s needs. Group member Nancy McKee even labels her hats eeny, meeny, miny and moe to identify sizes.
“Since we live here, at least this is true for me, I’ve given up some of the activities where I used to volunteer because I’m not driving and not going there anymore,” said Deenie Andrae, another member. “This is nice to have an opportunity to still do some of the things that we are accustomed to doing.”
Chix with Stix collaborates with IU Health North Hospital, Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and St. Francis Hospital. If the women can’t drop off the donation in person, Wright’s daughter takes them with her to St. Francis, where she works as a pharmacist.
Wright said they have received feedback from hospital staff and families thanking them for the donations.
“It makes you kind of feel good that you made somebody happy,” said Marty Hurst, also a group member.
Chix with Stix meets every Friday around the fireplace in the lobby of The Barrington. When they reach 2,000 hats, the women plan to go out for a celebratory dinner.