Friday, February 05, 2016

Vintage Photo Friday - Knitting Helps

Women of the Jewish Peoples Fraternal Order Knit for WWII Soldiers. 1943, LA Public Library Photo Archives
The Jewish Peoples Fraternal Order was a Jewish cultural, political and educational fraternal organization with it's roots in Canada. It was formed in the 1920s to assist immigrants with labor unions, insurance, business loans, medical care, summer camps for children and education. It was a division of the Workmen's Circle. The JPFO was often associated with the Communist Party. It was disbanded during the McCarthy era of the early 1950s, however many secular and cultural Jewish organizations continue to this day with their roots in the JPFO.
Above are a group of women, knitting for soldiers during World War II. They are a serious bunch. Today, we have many charity organizations that collect knitted items for soldiers, refugees, children in need, babies in hospitals and more. There are as many charity groups as there are people in the world. My knitting guild, The El Segundo Slipt Stitchers donates to at least 20 different charities. There are also many groups on Ravelry, specific to charity knitting.
Knitting and Crochet aren't always about making holiday gifts for your friends and family or a beautiful shawl or sweater to impress your friends. If you have this skill, it's wonderful to share it with people less fortunate. I try to donate at least one object a month to one of the various charities that my Guild supports. I collect chemotherapy caps for my Cousin Audra's clinic where she is a nurse. It's the UC San Francisco Center for Reproductive Health 
Chemo Caps Crocheted and Knit by my Yarny Friends

Audra's group harvests eggs for women of childbearing age and freezes them so that they can have biological children post chemotherapy (chemo kills their fertility because it kills the eggs).  Audra‚Äôs patients absolutely LOVE receiving the hats and always get very emotional at the kindness of strangers. This is the first hat they receive before losing all of their hair due to the chemotherapy treatments.  Audra has a small supply of soft chemo hats that she likes to give to her patients receiving chemo, about 1-2 ladies a week, but her supply is limited. My yarny friends from many of my knit groups have been contributing hats on a monthly basis for over 3 years! Thank you for continuing these acts of charity in the tradition of my JPFO ancestors.  Your acts of kindness are a mitzvah!
Contact me at if you'd like to contribute a hat!

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