Cathy Johnson founded Fort Wayne Social Singles in 2013, a meet-up group for singles over 40 looking to try something new and make some friends. Often, the group's members are those who have recently moved to the area and are looking for ways to meet people in the community.
While Fort Wayne Social Singles allowed members to meet others who enjoyed the same hobbies, a few members wanted to dedicate more of their time to volunteering.
So Crafting for a Cause, a volunteer group that meets Saturdays, was created.
The group's first project, “Angel Baby,” aims to comfort families grieving the loss of an infant. Johnson says this topic is difficult for both those involved and those hearing about it, but she wanted to help comfort mothers and families during their grieving.
The group will provide a bunting, which is a blanket-type wrap for a baby who is so fragile he or she cannot be diapered, and a hat, as well as a small diaper and bracelet for the parents to keep as memorial items.
“As I looked for patterns, I saw a need that wasn't being met across the country. I read the blogs and Facebook remarks of mothers/families this impacted and how they wished they'd had something for the baby other than a makeshift ill-fitting form of a diaper,” Johnson says. “We have a heart to volunteer and help in ways that we use what we love to do – knit, sew, crochet, bead, papercrafts, and various other crafts.”
Because Crafting for a Cause is a volunteer group, members provide fabric, supplies and their own sewing machines. However, Johnson's employers, Lutheran Health Network and Lutheran Medical Group, have donated supplies to the group.
So far, additional items have been requested by Lutheran Health Network, Parkview Health and DeKalb Memorial.
Johnson says that while this project will be ongoing, it is just a starting point for the group. Members hope to expand to multiple projects and grow within the community.
“Our group welcomes anyone to join that has a heart for volunteering and creating,” Johnson says. “We can use people with sewing, knitting and other talents or those that just want to come and help in other ways and possibly learn a new talent.
“The only age limit for this group: you must be at least 16 or older.”
The group meets the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon at JoAnn Fabrics on Coldwater Road, but Johnson thinks they will soon outgrow this space and is searching for a larger location.
They are also accepting donations of fabric and craft store gift cards. Donations can be designated as a memorial, as well. Money can be donated on Crafting for a Cause's “Go Fund Me” page at www.gofundme.com/7wn30o.