A Community of Helping Hands
When a friend came into Shirley Koleszar’s living room one day and held out a round, knitted ball, she at first thought it was a toy for a dog or maybe a baby. She soon found out it was something far more useful – it was a breast prosthesis for women who’d undergone mastectomies. The friend wanted to know if Shirley’s small six-lady knitting group would mind making a few.
Since that day, the Knitted Knockers group in Powell River has grown far beyond its initial six members as fellow knitters found out what they were up to and wanted to help. The close-knit group has now made over 2,500 pairs, distributing them to hospitals and the BC Cancer Agency, as well as friends and relatives. Although lately, they haven’t been able to get together for group knitting and stuffing sessions, the avid crafters have kept busy at home turning out the beautiful and much-appreciated handmade prostheses.
Just like before, knitting while watching Knowledge Network is a popular pastime for members of the group. A number of them, including Shirley, have taken the next step and become Knowledge Partners. “I’ve been watching the station for years, and it finally dawned on me that I was getting such wonderful enjoyment from the programs,” says Shirley about her decision to support Knowledge.
It all comes back to being part of the community and giving back where you can. “I guess the really important message is get involved,” she says. “The social connection, the camaraderie, the feeling that you’re doing something for somebody else. Its rewards are countless.”
Photo: The Powell River Knitted Knockers group, with Shirley Koleszar in the bottom row, far right. Find out more at knittedknockers.org.