When the COVID-19 pandemic struck final March, members of the United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton’s Stitching Group weren’t able to put down their needles simply but.
They couldn’t meet in particular person however wished to maintain making hats, quilts and different objects for folks in want.
“We would have liked to discover a solution to keep collectively throughout this pandemic,” member Jean Hill mentioned.
In order that they stored engaged on separate initiatives in their very own properties as an alternative of working collectively on the church as they did prior to now. As soon as per week, they meet just about by way of Zoom, a video conferencing software program app. Each member is in their very own dwelling however can see and discuss with one another by way of the pc display screen.
“It’s been a good way to remain related,” Hill mentioned.
Almost a 12 months into the pandemic, the group continues to fulfill on-line as soon as per week to share suggestions, showcase their handiwork, and discuss and joke with one another.
“It’s a connecting software as a approach for these great people to make use of their skills to serve others,” mentioned the church’s pastor, the Rev. Kimberly Chastain.
Regardless of the challenges of the pandemic, the group has been very productive the previous 12 months. They stitched sufficient quilts to fill all of the pews within the heart aisle of the church. They’ve additionally made masks to guard folks from catching the coronavirus, hats and mittens to maintain folks heat and stuffed animals for youngsters to cuddle. All objects are donated to native nursing properties, the Youngsters’s Residence of Wyoming Convention and people in want who go to the church or attend the church’s weekly takeout dinner.
Hats, gloves and scarves are omitted at a counter contained in the church the place anybody in want of heat clothes can take them.
“After we put them on the counter on the church, they’re gone in a day,” Hill mentioned.
Throughout a latest Zoom assembly of the group, Ellen Hancock-Berti held up the polar fleece hats she’s made so different members may see them by way of the Zoom digital camera. A retired trainer within the Binghamton Metropolis Faculty District, she noticed firsthand the wants of kids and households who struggled to search out heat garments within the wintertime.
“It’s heartbreaking,” she mentioned.
That’s why she and different members hold stitching, knitting and crocheting as a lot as they will.
“It offers us an opportunity to offer to any person who’s needy,” mentioned Ann Cobb, a longtime member of the stitching group. “It’s good for our group, our church and the neighborhood.”
Added Jan Hoover, one other stitching group member, “It’s good to have the ability to assist out wherever we can assist out.”
Whereas the group is generally feminine, it does have “two token males,” joked considered one of them, Chris Burger, who attends together with his spouse, Cindy. She does the stitching and knitting whereas he serves as her ethical assist.
“He has duties,” Cindy Burger mentioned of her husband. “He places the tea kettle on.”
Members of the group are principally retired however they nonetheless need to assist the group, mentioned Nancy Walter, one of many stitching group members.
“Now we have time on our arms,” she mentioned. “We like to offer again.”
United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton
The church is at 42 Chenango St. in downtown Binghamton. The Rev. Kimberly Chastain serves because the church’s pastor/head of ministry. Sunday providers are broadcast reside on the church’s YouTube channel at 10 a.m. There may be additionally a phone-in choice by way of the Zoom platform. For extra data, name 607-722-4219, e mail email@example.com, log on to upcbgm.org or discover the church on Fb at UPCBinghamton