2017-12-20 / Voice at the Shore

For JOAS seniors, knitting hats for vets reaps many rewards


Displaying their Hats for Vets at the Rosin Center are (from left) Jean Hamilton, My Lyn Truong, Marlene Acosta, Sally Ball, Cindy O’Rourke, and (seated) group leader Ellie Kremer and Mrs. Moi. Displaying their Hats for Vets at the Rosin Center are (from left) Jean Hamilton, My Lyn Truong, Marlene Acosta, Sally Ball, Cindy O’Rourke, and (seated) group leader Ellie Kremer and Mrs. Moi. Some local veterans will be a little bit warmer this winter thanks to the recent donation of 41 red-white-and-blue hats knitted by 15 seniors from the Rosin Senior Center in Atlantic City, which is run by Beron Jewish Older Adult Services (JOAS).

Both experienced and novice knitters helped to make the hats, said group leader Ellie Kremer, Rebbetzin of Shirat Hayam in Ventnor, who recently joined the Beron-JOAS board of directors and was looking for a way to volunteer with the seniors there.

The idea of a knitting group struck a positive chord with many Rosin Center seniors, and Kremer, a retired occupational therapist who enjoys knitting, knew this activity would benefit the seniors as well as those receiving their hand-knitted donations.

“As an occupational therapist, I am aware that purposeful activity improves engagement, self-worth and happiness,” said Kremer. “Given that in the first two weeks, we produced 21 hats, the group members’ investment and enjoyment seemed apparent.”

The group has been a great learning experience for all involved. “Several experienced knitters helped the new knitters,” said Kremer. Three other seniors chose not to knit but still helped the group by winding yarn.

Jean Hamilton was one of three first-time knitters. “I was nervous,” she said, but she was also determined to “push hard to learn it.”

“Everyone enjoyed this patriotic project” which was “a great way to honor our veterans,” said Rosin Center director Gail Scherzer. “The experience was very meaningful and we are pleased that we were able to make a difference!”

The group’s next project will be lap blankets for hospice patients, said Kremer. Group members will knit squares and sew them together into blankets. 

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