For almost a year now, the Denver Public Library, through its Cultural Programming Department, has been running a project called “K4OT”, Knit for Our Troops. The object of the program is to have local volunteers knit helmet liners for our troops in Iraq and especially Afghanistan, where winters can be pretty harsh. To date, the program has donated over 13,000 caps to the Rocky Mountain USO, who distributes the caps to families of soldiers deployed overseas. I got involved with the project as an instructor at the DPL for its Monday night “Madame DeFarge Knitting Salon” program.
I’d like to share with you a letter that Chris Loeffelmacher at the Library received recently from the wife of a deployed soldier:
“…My husband Mike is currently deployed to Afghanistan. I recently received caps for him, and 5 of his fellow marines from the Rocky Mountain USO. It is bitter cold in Afghanistan this time of year, and the one thing all of our Marines are asking for is something to help keep them warm. The caps I received will be a godsend to them, when they get them at just about Christmas time.
“I can’t say thank you enough for the support and care that is being shown by the wonderful people who knitted the caps. Just know that the boys will appreciate them more than you will ever know! Thank you again for everything you’ve done, and God bless you!
Chris would like you knitters out there to know that the program is still going on, and with even more troops being deployed to Afghanistan this winter, the need is growing! Chris said, “If you have an extra skein of washable wool and a free evening or two, we’d love to include your hat(s) in a shipment headed to our brave soldiers on overseas assignments.” For a copy of the pattern and more details visit www.denverlibrary.org/capsproject.
Regardless of one’s opinion about the conflicts overseas, a simple thing like knitting a cap for a cold soldier is an act of chesed, kindness.
Though we all have differing opinions about war, we’re not conflicted about our soldiers – who stand up for our country everyday. Knitting for Our Troops is a great way to say how much we care for our service men and women – and your donation will mean a lot to a soldier far away from home.
Hats can be made in a few hours, even by beginner knitters. Individually or in a group – this is a “knitzvah.” If synagogue knit groups would like to get involved, please leave a comment below or visit my blog at www.knitsbyjani.com. For more information on this program, read my blog post about it. Hats may be dropped off at the Boulder Jewish News office.