In the first six months of 2022, Project Knitwell has conducted 526 instructional sessions to teach knitting to those facing stress.
Our volunteers have donated 244 hours of their time.
In just the first six months of 2022, Project Knitwell (PK) has taught knitting as a wellness tool to 526 individuals at nine partner sites. Our volunteers have enabled this success, donating 244 hours of their time, working with individuals in the community.
Project Knitwell has also expanded to additional partner organizations and is now able to serve more participants, different types of participants, and individuals from other geographic locations.
“Project Knitwell is emerging from the pandemic, stronger than ever,” said Scott Stoner, Chair of the Project Knitwell Board of Directors. “I’m so proud of the innovations that our organization embraced to not only survive the pandemic, but also to thrive. Our new executive director Lauren Brennan — together with our cadre of enthusiastic volunteers and tiny staff — has already achieved many successes for us.”
At several partner sites, we were committed to in-person teaching:
- Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington — Since last summer, Project Knitwell has been teaching knitting to women refugees from Afghanistan, as part of the CCDA’s Immigrant and Refugee Services program. Volunteers have had more than 100 one-on-one instructional sessions.
- Cedar Lane — Cedar Lane is one of two public high schools in Fairfax County offering a learning environment to better accommodate students with emotional, behavioral, or social challenges; Project Knitwell has worked with students since 2019 and recently two new volunteers rejoined for the Spring semester, following a pause during the pandemic.
- Friends of Guest House (FOGH) Workforce and Life Development program — We recently created an extension of our longtime partnership with FOGH, which helps women successfully reenter the community from incarceration. Our new eight-week program teaches participants how to achieve goals through the SMART method (Specific-Measurable-Attainable- Realistic-Timely), thus helping develop important life skills. The program had 2–3 volunteers each week for more than 12 hours of instruction.
- John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescents (JLG-RICA) — A longtime partner, JLG-RICA is a community-based public residential treatment and educational facility serving children and adolescents, ages 10–18, with severe emotional disabilities. Thus far in 2022, our volunteers have had approximately 144 one-on-one encounters.
- Inova Schar Cancer Institute is a state-of-the-art cancer center in the Washington, DC metro area designed to bring healing and hope to every patient. Project Knitwell has supported more than 70 individuals thus far in 2022. In addition, the Smith Center Artists in Residence hosted an eARTh day event, where Project Knitwell shared knitting kits with more than 85 people. We look forward to expanding to the Cancer Rehabilitation and Recovery Services at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in the near future.
- And coming soon — a new program at the USO Warrior and Family Center at Ft. Belvoir, which will serve caregivers, wounded warriors, active duty service members, and their dependents. (Beginning August 2022.)
And continuing the virtual teaching that Project Knitwell innovated for the pandemic, we are continuing to teach online with:
- Knitwell in the Cloud (KIC) — Project Knitwell innovated Knitwell in the Cloud at the beginning of the pandemic and it continues to be successful, enabling us to teach knitting to participants no matter where they live or work. A number of nurses have taken advantage of this effective program. Thus far in 2022, we have taught 10 individuals in at least 4 one-on-one virtual lessons. We have also led online Knitting for Wellness workshops with the University of Delaware Nursing School, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, and Honoring Choices, among others.
- Lakota School — This outreach program is a partnership through a Department of Justice Grant with Bowling Green State University. PK is delivering professional development workshops and training for more than 40 teachers working in rural schools. The overarching focus areas for the grant center on improving school communities by leveraging programming that helps build relationships and reduce stress as a way of supporting school safety.
- N Street Village — N Street Village supports women in Washington, DC experiencing homelessness by offering a broad spectrum of services, housing, and advocacy in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. Project Knitwell has been working with N Street participants virtually with more than 40 encounters this year. In June, we also resumed in–person teaching at N Street.
- Smith Center for Healing and the Arts — Project Knitwell’s virtual “Knitting on the Couch” program continues each week, with 5–7 new and experienced knitters facing cancer treatment or caregiving responsibilities.
- Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Arts and Humanities Program — Project Knitwell is proud to offer a series of online color theory and advanced knitting instructional classes for fiber artists facing stressful circumstances with a wide geographic spread, including 22 states, 23 countries, and six continents. Each virtual class session enrolls more than 50 individuals.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to our amazing volunteers,” said Lauren Brennan, Project Knitwell Executive Director. “They are the heart and soul — and muscle — of all our efforts.”
Project Knitwell is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization operating in the Washington, DC area, offering knitting as a wellness tool — to help people cope with stressful situations — at more than a dozen hospital and community settings, as well as via Zoom. Founded in 2010, Project Knitwell has proudly served more than 5,000 participants with more than 30 volunteers and minimal paid staff.
Lauren Brennan, firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-249-9112