Growing up in the 60s, I always loved to knit, sew and make things, like many of the girls of that era. Of course, hobbies fell by the wayside in adulthood as I began my career and raised a family. My creative spark reappeared when my daughter, Katie, was in high school. She and I started knitting together on the living room couch. It became mother-daughter time we looked forward to and loved sharing together.
This was also the time in my life when we lived in Buffalo. On my commute to and from work, I would often pass people in need -waiting for the bus in the morning, and waiting at the Salvation Army dinner wagon for a hot meal at night. These moments really made me think about the hardships many people endured in my own city, especially during the winter months. I wanted to help.
My daughter and I decided to channel our knitting time together into making scarves. We donated them all to St. Luke’s Mission. One day Katie suggested we make fleece blankets to donate as well. I will always remember the smile on the young boy’s face who received our first blanket. His face beamed as he touched the soft, red fleece with yellow kittens. Looking into his eyes that day, I felt his joy from receiving this simple gift. This was something I had to do again.
Through family and friends we began providing new, knitted scarves and tied fleece blankets to children and adults in need of warmth and comfort. We began attaching an inspirational or educational message to lift the spirits of our recipients and reinforce their self worth. Ultimately, my hope is to one day attach a book to each blanket we give, furthering the cause of literacy.
Over 1,300 handmade items have been donated through Words & Warmth since our founding in 2013. Please join us in our mission to warm the hearts and bodies of those experiencing crisis emotionally, physically, or financially. Their numbers are greater in our own community than any of us want to believe.
With Heartfelt Thanks,
Kathryn Karlic, Founder
Words & Warmth