What ‘purly’ teeth – Knitters Raised by Wolves give back to community

September 2021 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community, Other

By Melissa Wagoner

Knitters Raised by Wolves

When Celia Stapleton named her knitting group Knitters Raised by Wolves, she had one thing in mind. 

“The point is, children that were raised by wolves are feral – and we’re not nice ladies,” Stapleton laughed. Noting that the group isn’t a quiet bunch – at least not entirely. They knit, they crochet, they tat, they embroider and more than anything else they talk and laugh.

“The stories that they tell are something else,” member Vivienne Frankel agreed.

But recently, the group has taken on a whole new pastime – raising money for Sheltering Silverton, a resource center advocating for those who are, or are in danger of becoming, homeless in the Silverton area. 

“During the ice storm and the fires, I kept thinking, what if I was homeless?” Stapleton said of the impetus for the idea. “I just can’t stand the thought of people being homeless.”

And so, with the help of her friends, she began stockpiling an inventory of handmade items – stuffed animals decked out with knitted clothes, infant headbands, booties and blankets, aprons and even a full-sized quilt.

“One thing about crafters is we love to make stuff and then we end up with too much,” member Julie Gritton said.

No longer an issue, the members’ stockpiles instead became a real asset with the group establishing a booth at the Silverton Farmers Market, all proceeds going to Sheltering Silverton. 

“We had a presale in the group and we raised $350 just buying each other’s stuff,” Frankel laughed. “And then we’ve also gotten so many donations.”

Raw supplies, like fleece and yarn; finished items, like aprons, stuffed rabbits and even jewelry came rolling in. And then there were the monetary donations from those in the community that just wanted to help.

“Sheltering does so much more than just find houses,” Frankel pointed out.

“They help you go in the direction you want,” Stapleton agreed. 

Which is how, between July 24 and Aug. 21, the knitters were able to raise over $1,500 for the cause.

“I went on vacation and I spent the whole road trip knitting and crocheting,” Gritton recalled.  “That’s my sacrifice for the group – now I have tennis elbow!”

It all appeared to be worth the hardship, however, because as the group nervously gathered outside the offices of Sheltering Silverton on Sept. 1, all smiles, with a check which they presented to acting Executive Director Hilary Dumitrescu and the rest of the staff.

“Community dollars allow us to act quickly to provide shelter in a way that big-city, big-government agencies can’t,” Dumitrescu said of the importance contributions like these have in the organization. 

“Community dollars allow us to be nimble and respond to the unique needs of our community quickly and precisely, without bureaucracy. Building a more competent community is at the heart of the work
we do.”

The same might be said for the Knitters Raised by Wolves, which, despite a hodge-podge of talents, personalities, backgrounds and ages, banded together for a cause bigger than themselves. Perhaps they’re nice ladies after all.


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