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Easton Seniors Show the Power of Giving Back

EASTON, Conn. – From the moment she began knitting in 1948, Verena Evans has been donating her scarves, hats, booties and blankets to those in need.

“I first starting knitting when I was working at a nursery in a hospital in upstate New York,” Evans said. “Sometimes in one night we would have a lot of deliveries and the next night we wouldn’t have anything to do, so I started knitting to pass the time.”

Evans said she knitted hats and gloves for the expecting mothers and booties for the newborns. “It was so cold up there, and I thought it was just something nice to do,” she said.

That caring attitude has found its way to Easton as Evans, along with several members of the Easton Senior Center knitting group, make clothing items and blankets to give to those in need in Fairfield County. The project is part of the Senior Center’s annual Giving Tree, which “has been a tradition here for many, many years,” said director Valerie Buckley.

The project works solely on donations, Buckley said. “The beautiful thing of it is that everything is free — the donations, the labor, to the baskets they are sent in,” she said. The finished products are sent to the prenatal unit at St. Vincent Medical Center, Bridgeport Hospital and the Child First program, also at Bridgeport Hospital, which helps children in need.

Before the hats, scarves, gloves and blankets are sent out, members of the Senior Center decorate a tree that sits in the middle of the center with all the hats. “This year, instead of one tree, we actually have three,” Buckley said, who expects to donate nearly 600 hats this winter.

Buckley said 95 percent of the knitted items go to local organizations; the other 5 percent are sold at the center. All proceeds from the sale of the knitted goods go toward buying Thanksgiving turkeys for the needy.

“We have always worked with the assumption that if we work for somebody else, they will help us in return. That is what this is all about — philanthropic work,” Buckley said.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Senior Center can call 203-268-1145.

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