A year-long labor of love, providing warmth and comfort to those coming for assistance at The Storehouse of Collin County
In January, a group of ladies who enjoy knitting and crocheting joined together to form a group called “Scarves for Christmas” to benefit neighbors of The Storehouse of Collin County during the holiday season. Organizers Elizabeth Thomas and Patti Hoff, who are members of St. Andrew United Methodist Church, recruited a group of 40 women from all over DFW including some who were outside of Texas. Because of the pandemic, the group connected over Zoom for the first half of the year to share crocheting and knitting techniques while working on the scarves. They knitted and crocheted a grand total of 621 scarves – each taking about 4-6 hours to craft.
Once all were completed, the scarves were sorted, individually wrapped, and tied with a bow. Each packaged scarf also included a Christmas card with a prayer of encouragement in English and Spanish. On November 10, the group came together for a special blessing of the scarves, led by St. Andrew Pastor Jennifer Arnold.
During The Storehouse of Collin County’s food distribution on Dec. 2 and 4, the ladies placed one scarf on each food cart to give to each family. St. Andrew’s music department provided Christmas carolers, adding to the merriment of the event.
The volunteers who took the food carts out to the neighbors’ cars returned with many stories of gratitude and joy. Many neighbors became very emotional as they received their special hand-crafted gift. According to organizers, one woman teared up and said that wrapping up in the scarf would bring her much comfort and warmth. A man who received a red and green Christmas scarf immediately opened it, put it on and expressed so much joy in this gift that it was infectious to all around him!
These 40 ladies gave the gift of hope, love, warmth, and joy. Organizers Patti Hoff and Elizabeth Thomas cannot express into words how wonderful this experience was, nor can they adequately express their gratitude to all who spent many hours crafting the scarves. The group plans to organize another Scarves for Christmas project for distribution in 2023!
Blessing of the Prayer Scarves
We remember all those who will receive these scarves:
Those who are lonely and need to know they are loved
Those who are ill and yearn for healing of body, mind and spirit,
Those who face challenging decisions and search for guidance,
Those who are grieving and welcome comforting words and actions,
Those who are celebrating newness of life and rejoice in the warmth and richness surrounding them.
May they find comfort
from all that appears too much to bear at this moment
from all that feels as if it might be the breaking point
from all that seems to threaten their peace of heart.
May this prayer scarf be
A shelter for time of overwhelming grief
A shade in times of sorrow too deep for words
A shield from times of unimaginable loss
May they be sustained
By the presence of those who love and support them
By faith in the eternal Loving One
By the memories of what they hold most dear.
Prayer of Blessing:
May God’s grace be upon this scarf,
Warming, comforting, enfolding and embracing.
May it be a safe haven…a sacred place of security and well-being
Sustaining and embracing in good times as well as difficult ones.
May the one who received this scarf be cradled in hope.
Kept in joy, graced with peace, and wrapped in love.
The Storehouse of Collin County provides short-term assistance and long-term transformation to residents of Collin County in need through the Seven Loaves Food Pantry, Joseph’s Coat Clothing Closet, and Project Hope. The nonprofit was founded in 2009 under the name of Seven Loaves Community which provided only food pantry staples and grew over the years to meet a variety of needs. Over 2,000 families on average access the Seven Loaves Food Pantry each month. The Storehouse also provides an opportunity to receive clothing at no cost through Joseph’s Coat as well as holistic assessment, counseling, goal setting, and referrals to community resources through the Project Hope relational program. Visit www.thestorehousecc.org.
ALL PHOTOS BY BEN SKYE