Published On: Tue, Jan 31st, 2017

Local Residents Knit Caps for Newborns

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By Aeryn Beining

Every Wednesday Yogurt Emporium, located in Boca Raton, has nowhere to sit. The reason being is because a group of older retired women meet weekly to knit caps for newborns at local hospitals within South Florida, such as, Boca Raton Regional Hospital and West Boca Medical Center. Out of the kindness of their hearts, they specifically make caps to keep the warmth coming from the heads of newborns locked in.

Anita Taffae, founder of the knitting group, was visiting California when she observed a number of knitters at a knitting shop doing similar work. Up until a few years ago, the South Florida knitters were part of a charitable organization named Stitches from the Heart that is now disbanded. Until the disbandment, they would send the caps to the organization that was based in California. Stitches from the Heart would then donate the knitted caps to hospitals all over the country. Although disbanded, the women still consider themselves the Florida chapter of the organization; and are now the only ones from the organization still making the caps for donation to local hospitals. img_20170111_120224

For about eight years, these women have been knitting thousands of caps for newborns. They are not paid to knit these caps. The thousands of caps made come from loving hands and donated to local hospitals. The knitting group is considered to be their main retirement pastime. Similar to group therapy, meeting regularly at Yogurt Emporium provides the delicious incentive of frozen yogurt and conversation. Like one big family, they help one another celebrate the good times, persevere through the bad times and encourage one another.

Currently, the group contains thirty-nine members who knit caps. Eight members meet weekly during the winter season and seven meet weekly during the rest of the year. One of their members happens to be a snowbird who continues to send caps down to Florida when she’s up north. The group members are always looking for more individuals interested in creating more caps. They graciously deny any and all money donations simply because they’re doing this out of love. Right now, they hope to donate caps to needy newborns at Lakeside Medical Center in Belle Glade, Florida.

The owner of Yogurt Emporium, Randy Marks, often receives complaints about the lack of seating on Wednesdays; yet, he focuses more on the women who knit rather than the lack of seats. According to Marks, what these women are doing is far more important since they are doing it out of the kindness of their hearts. He often accepts yarn donations for these women. His wife, Luz Marks, will tell customers about details of the group. As a result of Mrs. Marks, customers hear about the group and donate yarn or attempt to donate money to the cause.

If you’re looking to try something new or interested in learning how to knit, visit Yogurt Emporium on a Wednesday around eleven-thirty in the morning. Not only will you meet a wonderful group of women but you will be knitting caps in no time. These women will teach interested persons how to knit caps. If you have some yarn hanging around the house and are unsure of what to do with it, drop it by Yogurt Emporium, located at 6063 SW 18th St Boca Raton; across the street from Outback Steakhouse.

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