Manor Care Residents Help With Project
Penny Johnson is on a mission -- and with the help of some residents of Manor Care in Pinehurst -- she is succeeding.
"Eight years ago, while we were living in Connecticut, the mother of one of our church members came to visit her son," says Johnson. "Marlene opened my eyes to the sad plight of the children living in Zimbabwe. After praying and discussing how our church could help these children so far away we came upon a plan."
They knew they couldn't send money or anything that could end up on the black market.
"We decided to begin our 'Square' ministry," says Johnston. "We knitted or crocheted 6-inch squares and then mailed them to my friend in Zimbabwe. She in turn took them to her church where Marlene, Lorraine and the other women there put all the squares together into blankets. They then distributed them to the children in the orphanages and those who lived on the street."
Johnson moved to North Carolina three years ago and felt called to continue this ministry at Pinehurst United Methodist.
"Nancy Miner, who visits Manor Care with her therapy dog, Barney, felt that there were some residents there that might like to be a part of the wonderful ministry," says Johnson.
And so now residents of Manor Care are creating squares to go across the ocean to Africa to be made into blankets for the children of Zimbabwe.
Recently several women from the weekly knitting group at PUMC visited with the ladies at Manor Care and taught a few more ladies how to crochet.
"One of those ladies is in her early 90s and just needed a refresher course," Johnson says.
Shirley Blake and Evelyn Davis, residents of Manor Care, along with assistant activity director, Kim Hooker, have all turned out dozens of beautiful crocheted squares to help make a difference in the lives of many of the children of Zimbabwe, according to Nancy Miner.
"It makes me feel so good to know that I am helping these children," Blake says.
"From what I have heard, Shirley's doctor is quite pleased that she is crocheting because of the physical therapy benefit," says Miner. "She is a real inspiration."
Evelyn Davis, known as Lyn, has physical problems that affect several of her motor functions, but enjoys being part of this ministry.
"We all enjoy our time together and feel like we are making a difference in other people's lives," she says.
A recent addition to the group is Freda Zwart, who is in her early 90s.
"These are physically challenged people doing extraordinary things for others," says Miner.
Activities Director Kim Hooker says this is now a regularly scheduled activity.
"We are encouraging others who are able to join the crocheting group," she says.
Johnson says she is thankful for all of the women across the country who participate in this ministry.
"Many of them I have never met, but I know that we all are sharing our gifts with the children of Zimbabwe," she says.
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