Jul 29, 2014
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'Hugs & Stitches' Comforts Kids in Need

Hugs & Stitches makes close to 3,000 knit or crocheted items for local charities a year.

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Sandi Schneider is making a difference one crocheted scarf, or blanket or pair of gloves or socks, at a time. She founded the nonprofit Hugs & Stitches seven years ago and has been making children cozy ever since.

Schneider said the group began with just four or five ladies but has grown to a group of nearly 24 knitters. She said the group started while she was teaching a Beginning Crochet class for the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks.

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"I had been making scarves on my own to donate to Shepherd's Staff and when I was teaching the class I told the students about it," Schneider said. "They were happy to make scarves to donate as well."

At first, Schneider said the group focused on the Shepherd's Staff "Call for Coats" project, making only scarves because no one knew how to make hats yet.

Now, with members who can crochet other pieces, the group donates to Shepherd's Staff, Maryland School for the Blind, Carroll County Special Olympics and homeless shelters, among other organizations.

"We also recently started making lap Afghans for the Catastrophic Health Planners to give to newly diagnosed cancer patients to use during their chemo," Schneider said.

Schneider said the group creates around 3,000 items to donate a year. Hugs & Stitches is seeking new members who are interested in making new friends and knitting or crocheting for a good cause. The group meets on Tuesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Email Sandi Schneider at at crafter359@aol.com for more information.

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