In collaboration with March of Dimes, KnitWits taught students to combine craft with charity, knitting booties for premature babies at UHS Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City.
KnitWits, a student organization for people interested in knitting, makes clothing, accessories, blankets and other items to sell and raise money for charity.
Twenty-five people attended the event on Friday and, over the course of three hours, knit a total of 20 pairs of baby booties, according to Olivia Hon, president of KnitWits and a senior majoring in computer science.
Each participant was given knitting needles and a ball of baby yarn to start the project. Stitch patterns for the booties were written on a board, and students socialized while working.
Although not everyone knew how to knit, members of KnitWits helped everyone with their individual projects. Stations were set up so that students who needed assistance were able to get the right amount of attention to complete their projects.
“I thought it was for a good cause, and it was really cool that they [provided instruction] so people with no experience could still help,” said Daniela Jimenez, a senior majoring in integrative neuroscience. “Even though it was difficult, it was rewarding.”
Others enjoyed the option to provide for a charity using their skills and not just giving money.
“It was great to have an event on campus that was hands-on where I was able to help the community,” said Deanna Ciampo, a sophomore majoring in anthropology.
Members who knew how to knit the booties helped student participants who were just beginning.
“I think it was a success. I kind of knew how to knit before, but I kind of forgot some things,” said Anna Lin, a sophomore majoring in engineering.
March of Dimes approached the idea of collaboration with KnitWits after seeing some of the group’s work.
“[A] lot of times they don’t really allow us to be in the NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit], so we were trying to think of other things we could do to help them out and we thought why not knit them booties or hats or something to help out the babies,” said Jillian Kaufman, March of Dimes member and a junior majoring integrative neuroscience. “KnitWits is a place on campus that we thought would be really open to the idea.”
Like the national organization, Binghamton University’s March of Dimes raises money for the research relating to premature births.
“I think it’s definitely a good sustainable event because we’re making things that babies need,” said Lauren Leong, president of March of Dines and a senior studying accounting. “It’s a good way to get people involve in talking to each other.”