RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - What looks like women chatting and knitting the day away is a mission in disguise: to help anyone and everyone who needs it. From the Heart started by accident in late 2001 when founder Lois Moore met her friend Dana at a coffee shop to practice their knitting.
"One of the girls behind the counter said if you can hang out until 2, I can knit with you. And we met Melanie, and she started knitting with us and then they just started coming," says Moore, explaining From the Heart officially became a nonprofit in 2005. It's not 2,500 members strong. They're scattered all over Virginia, but a shop in the West End is home base. There, they create, sort their finished products and accept donations.
"The yarn just comes, and it's amazing," Moore says looking at the supplies. "You think of a need, you think, 'Oh gosh, I've got to go find a way to buy some variegated yarn.' It will walk in the door. It's just amazing. It happens over and over like that."
From that yarn, they knit and crochet sweaters, hats, socks, blankets, dolls and more to give to the tiniest babies to the elderly and everyone in between. So far From the Heart has donated about 190,000 items to cancer patients who've lost their hair, homeless men and women, troops overseas, children who've moved into a domestic violence shelter with their mothers and more.
Members are working hard to reach 200,000 donated items by their annual retreat in August. "It's a group of the most talented, giving ladies you'll ever meet," Moore says speaking of the women who volunteer their time and talent. "Sometimes I get here at 10 o'clock and they're waiting for me to unlock the door, and when we lock up at 2, you might have to push a few of 'em out," she adds with a chuckle.
From the Heart needs more people to knit and crochet, so it will teach anyone who wants to learn. All the group asks if that you commit to donating at least one item.
"It doesn't matter how much we do, there's almost always somebody else in need," says Moore. "We'll find a way to help them. We just go as fast as we can. We need hands."
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