Since last year, the “Knit For A Cause” group at the Verona Public Library has been making caps for chemotherapy patients at Saint Barnabas and winter gear for clients of the Human Needs Food Pantry. Now they are going to be using their creativity to help some of the country’s poorest Native Americans.
The Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota is home to the Oglala Sioux tribe, a group of 40,000 people who live in grinding poverty. Diane Kuzma, a member of “Knit For A Cause” group and a former secretary at Verona High School, has been making hats, sweaters and more for the Friends Of Pine Ridge Reservation (FoPRR) for years. The group has decided to follow her lead and help Pine Ridge too.
Beginning in May, “Knit For A Cause” is inviting all knitters, crocheters and sewers to create clothing and accessories that can be distributed at the reservation. You can participate in the effort in person, or by creating items at home.
Pine Ridge needs clothing of all sizes, baby layette items, blankets, quilts, afghans and even toys. There are ideas and free patterns for many items on the FoPRR Pinterest board. Any color and any yarn works, but Friends of Pine Ridge asks that you do not create anything that depicts owls, as they are a symbol of death in the Lakota culture.
If you want to participate in person, “Knit For A Cause” meets Tuesdays at 11 a.m. in the Verona Community Center, and you should register for it through the Library at [email protected] or 973-857-4848. If you have yarn to donate, please bring it to the Library, which is temporarily located in the Verona Community Center Annex at 880 Bloomfield Avenue. Bring all completed items to the Library as well so that they can be shipped to the reservation.