In 2020 the spark that led to Crocheting Love for the Homeless was ignited in Rhonda Vaughan’s living room. Since then Rhonda and her team have donated hundreds of crocheted items, from hats to scarves to sleeping mats, to the homeless community in Cherokee County. We spoke with Rhonda Vaughan about her creative service and had the opportunity to meet another member of the Crocheting Love for the Homeless group, Amanda Rogers, the organization’s digital creator for its Facebook page.

What’s Your Why?

What inspired you to create a crocheting charity? What motivates you to keep moving forward and helping the community? Rhonda says it started at home when she asked God, “What can I do for my community?” While she waited for her answer, she noticed that she had her crocheting supplies and her skills. “That was when my question was answered. My gift is to crochet,” she explains.

Getting Hooked on Crocheting

Do people who don’t crochet participate? Are there lessons for participants? “There are places for everybody,” exclaims Rhonda. “Amanda creates posts to keep our followers updated on what we are doing in the community. Amanda’s gift is to help with our digital marketing. Other members help with picking up donations from Artifact Market + Studio. It is a community [in which] we work together.”

The Crocheting Love for the Homeless group has welcomed participants ranging in age from eleven to eighty. Amanda adds, “People can do volunteer drop-offs or help make the yarn, like putting plastic bags in a yarn ball to create the mats.” The sleeping mats, made in part from recycled plastic bags, are quite soft.

Amanda continues, “We teach and train members who want to come. We always need experienced crocheters to help [and] teach our growing community.”

Photo Courtesy of Crocheting Love for the Homeless

Rhonda Vaughan and Amanda Rogers, volunteer organizers for Crocheting Love for the Homeless.

The Impact of Giving Back

How many members of the homeless community have received items from Crocheting Love for the Homeless? Rhonda explains, “From October to December 2023, we [donated] 160 hats, ninety-four scarves, and twenty-six sleeping mats. We still have boxes and bags filled with hats and scarves that are ready to go for our next drop-off. We have plenty of goods on hand to continue for the rest of the season. We crochet all year round, which is why we have extra.” She adds, “We have thousands of homeless people in Cherokee County, and we stay local to Cherokee.”

Jim Lindenmayer, director of the Cherokee County Homeless Veterans Program, remarks, “As part of our outreach to find and count homeless, we have built a number of backpack kits that include knitted items from organizations across Cherokee County, like Crocheting Love for the Homeless, [including] hats, scarves, and mittens. Last year we built and distributed over five hundred backpacks designed to help homeless, many here in Cherokee County.” Jim says the backpacks were designed by two local veterans, both of whom previously experienced homelessness. He explains further, “The goal of the backpacks is to provide necessities to help them for up to forty-eight hours.”

In addition to crocheted hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, and handwarmers from Crocheting Love for the Homeless, the backpacks also include energy bars, socks, first aid kits, toiletries, towels, and flashlights.

How You Can Help

What can people do to get involved with Crocheting Love for the Homeless? “People are welcome to join and learn. If you have a skill for crocheting, we are looking for more teachers. We would like to be able to teach the volunteers how to crochet. You can also help by donating crocheting hooks, yarn, grocery bags, or checking out our Amazon Wish List,” Rhonda shares.

Click here to view the organization’s Amazon Wishlist.

Items can be dropped off at Ark Family Church in Woodstock or Artifact Market + Studio in Canton. On the first and fourth Sundays of each month, the crochet group meets at Ark Family Church. Additional events are held at Artifact Market + Studio. Amanda recommends following the organization’s Facebook page for event announcements.

Ark Family Church

6835 Victory Drive, Woodstock
Date: 1st and 4th Sundays of the month
Time: 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Artifact Market + Studio

1810 Cumming Highway, Suite 1380, Canton

 

 

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