Pa. woman gives gifts of warmth

December 19, 2003|by DON AINES

Editor's note: This is one in a series of stories running on the 12 days before Christmas to recognize people who make the holidays better for others.

The heads of hundreds of children in Franklin County, Pa., will be warmer this Christmas thanks to the very busy hands of Sandy Chambers.

This week, Chambers gave the Salvation Army 300 winter caps she crocheted this year. Chambers said she began crocheting them in the spring and finished the last of the multicolored caps in Sept-ember.

"Last year, my best friend passed away and I was crocheting as a way to get through the grieving process," the Shippensburg, Pa., woman said. "I contacted the Salvation Army last spring because, once I started this thing, I thought, 'What am I going to do with them?'"


The Salvation Army told her the hats would be great accessories for its annual Coats for Kids campaign, Chambers said. Those hats, coats and other items of donated clothing will be distributed to needy families today from a storefront the army is using at Southgate Mall in Chambersburg.

Chambers said she crocheted enough hats over a five-month period that she had more to donate to the clothing bank at her church, Christ United Methodist Church in Shippensburg, and its bazaar.

Beth Monn, the Angel Tree program coordinator for the Salvation Army, said there are others who work behind the scenes to brighten the holidays of people they may never meet. She mentioned a woman in her 90s at a retirement community who made 51 hats and members of the Golden Age Club in Fort Loudon, Pa., who donated items they had knitted or crocheted.

The morning receptionist for the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, Chambers learned crocheting and sewing from her grandmother and has put those skills to work in the past for good causes.

She and her late friend, Dorothy Best, were involved with the Carlisle (Pa.) Quilting Guild and worked together on lap quilts that were donated to the Cumberland County Nursing Home and a hospice program.

Like many people who donate their time and talents to helping others, Chambers was somewhat reluctant to talk about her efforts.

"We like to work in the background," she said. "We don't need a pat on the back."

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