Women Join Forces to Support Troops
Sun Post News | Written by Barbara Potter
Donations are needed for upcoming events at Camp Pendleton.
Three years ago some women in the “Splash Club,” a water aerobics class at the Ole Hanson pool, discovered they had more in common than doing the butterfly stroke – they all liked to knit 1, purl 2 and yarn over.
Naming their group the Knitt Witts, the expert knitters have formed a small ministry by purchasing yarn and making items for Marines and their families at Camp Pendleton.
“We wanted to do something for the war effort,” Gloria Densham said. “We know the items are helpful and it’s something we love to do.”
The Knitt Witts – Dodie Beauchamp, Gina Brewington, Peggy Chaply, Gloria Densham, Shirley Ferguson, Barbara Goldstein, Margo Grube, Carol Hagedorn and Carol Tengdin – have kept their knitting needles clicking by making colorful baby blankets and caps for expectant mothers at Camp Pendleton for the Baby Boot Camp program.
Using camouflage yarn, the knitters have also made and shipped 5 dozen caps to Marines serving in Iraq. The Marines say they wear them under their helmets to keep out moisture in the hot and humid weather.
In networking fashion, the Knitt Witts have recently connected with Cynthia Martinez, founder of Words of Comfort, Hope & Promise, a nonprofit group dedicated to bringing support to military service men and women and their families.
“When one of the Marines returned from Iraq he told me that one of the best gifts he and the others received was blankets to keep them warm in the cold winter nights,” Martinez said.
Not one to be deterred by a huge project, Martinez purchased 30 bolts of camouflage fleece – 2,000 yards – and set out to find people to make them.
“We have asked woman in churches and groups to help us make more than 800 blankets,” she said.
So adding to their knitting projects, the Knitt Witts, who meet on Tuesdays at the San Clemente home of Margo Grube, now also sew blankets to match the knitted caps.
“It’s a real sisterhood,” said Shirley Ferguson.
From San Diego to Yorba Linda, Martinez said women are sewing and knitting.
“We appreciate their labor of love in supporting our troops,” she said. “They are angels.”
How to Donate
To continue in her crusade to help support those serving in our military, Martinez is also preparing to deliver more than 500 goody bags to Marines who will be deployed on December and January to Iraq. She said snacks and items to fill the bags are needed and if local businesses or individuals want to donate, they can call her at 949-637-7615.
Words of Comfort, Hope & Promise also hosted its annual Christmas party on December 15th for Marines and their families at Camp Pendleton. Ms. America and Jane Park Smith came to attend the event.
For Gloria Densham, delivering the baby caps and blankets at Camp Pendleton is “a pleasure.”
“The gals and even some of the guys give us hugs. They treat us like queens. It’s so lovely,” she said.
If you would like to help with Words of Comfort, Hope & Promise call Cynthia Martinez at (949) 637-7615. And if you are interested in knitting caps and baby blankets or would like to donate yarn, call Gloria Densham at (949) 493-7895.
November 9, 2007