Knots of Love: South Bethesda, MD
The South Bethesda Sai Center lovingly knitted and stitched baby items; then they partnered with a hospital, a church, and a nonprofit agency to distribute them in Maryland and New York.
The first workshop was held in March 2019 for Center members keen in learning how to knit baby hats. So strong was the interest that several more workshops were offered. In a spirit of love and devotion, thirty ladies of the Center enthusiastically came together to knit hats for newborn babies, aptly naming their knitting group Knots of Love. Collectively, they knitted 500 hats in a variety of vibrant colors and styles, which were donated to the Queens Hospital in New York City, designated a “Baby Friendly” facility that fosters maternal-infant bonding.
Soon the project expanded with the involvement of White Marsh Seventh Day Adventist Church in Baltimore, MD. The pastor of the church was eager to host a baby shower for all of the needy mothers in his community. Knots of Love decided to make baby blankets and put together gift packages that would also include baby bibs and diapers for the newborns.
The group found a dozen women at the center who had sewing machines and could sew. Those who could not sew volunteered to donate flannel cloth or to cut fabric. On a Saturday, about 30 ladies and about a dozen children met at a Potomac home and set up different stations including a cutting station, a sewing station and a packing station. Over the next four hours, the group completed enough blankets that could be inserted into 112 Ziplock packages along with loving messages for the babies and their mothers.
About 55 packages were donated to Inspire, a non-profit organization based in Gaithersburg, MD, that counsel needy mothers who were either immigrants without insurance, teen mothers, victims of abuse, or sufferers of addiction. White Marsh Seventh Day Adventist Church in Baltimore received the remaining packages.
The service project ended with the celebration of Sathya Sai Baba’s birthday at the Center in November 2019, as Knots of Love dedicated their effort as part of the Ladies’ Day observance. Project lead Sai Sree Cherukuri noted, “This service project inspired people who had no experience in knitting to take up their looms and get to work. All the participants described it as a truly blissful experience, and we look forward to knitting more hats for newborns.”