Knits for the Needy: A Campus Club that Deserves Recognition

With over 50 student-organized clubs on the St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) campus, it is easy for some to go unnoticed. Some of the most prominent clubs include Humans vs. Zombies, Nerf Wars and rock climbing, but there are many other clubs which work extremely hard to do great things for the community which deserve to be recognized. The SMCM Knits for the Needy club is a close-knit group of students who meet up once a week and decompress through handiwork. 

The club has been in existence for over eight years and is open to people of all levels of knitting or crocheting. Gretchen Young (‘21) has been a member since her first year and she noted that all are welcome to attend a meeting and learn how to knit or crochet a stitch. Young noted that “there will always be someone to teach you and help you improve.” She continued, “It’s really exciting for us to welcome people for the afternoon!” 

Young has been knitting since she was in the third grade, when her parents gave her a kit for Christmas to knit a headband. She sought help from her grandmother as she started out, mentioning, “I have vivid memories of sitting on my couch next to my grandma, slowly casting on stitches and manipulating the needles for the first time.” 

Members of the club can usually be spotted at different times throughout the year outside of the Great Room selling some of their most recent creations. The profits made from sales are donated to a specific charity as voted on by the members. Each sale contains a wide variety of handiworks, from hats to little creatures made out of yarn. Young explained that her favorite thing to knit at the moment is scarves “since they are fairly easy but can be uniquely tailored to their recipient.” 

This year, members of the club voted on various charities to support, including St. Jude’s Research Hospital, The Trevor Project and a more local charity, The Mission, a homeless shelter in St. Mary’s County. In regards to the decision process, Young stated: “We feel that since members spend so much time on their projects, they should decide what causes are close to their hearts.”

Casey Greenberg (‘23) has been knitting for seven years, and joined the club after spotting their table at the Club Fair. Greenberg remarked, “I saw a booth at the involvement fair where people were knitting and immediately knew I’d found my people.” Her favorite thing to knit is hats, because “They are very efficient and immediately rewarding–you can go out and show it off as soon as you finish.”

Greenberg stated that all of the club meetings and events are her favorites. “We get to just sit around and knit, talking about our projects and making each other laugh.” For Young, Greenberg and other members of the group, knitting serves as a way to relieve stressors from classes and is an opportunity to spend time with friends who all share a love for handiwork. 

The club meets every Friday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Aldom Lounge next to the Campus Center. For more information, follow Knits for the Needy on instagram at @smcmknitsagram or contact the club advisors at knitsforneedy@smcm.edu. 

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