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Stitch by stitch

Cabot crafters give back to community

By Kayla Baugh

This article was published October 19, 2017 at 12:00 a.m.

kim-jasmin-from-left-rena-edwards-and-alisa-branigan-members-of-cabot-crafters-for-a-cause-hold-up-some-of-their-creations-the-group-meets-once-a-month-and-regularly-donates-handmade-goods-to-people-in-need

Kim Jasmin, from left, Rena Edwards and Alisa Branigan, members of Cabot Crafters for a Cause, hold up some of their creations. The group meets once a month and regularly donates handmade goods to people in need.

Blankets, prayer shawls, chemo caps — one group is connecting Cabot residents through crocheting.

Kim Jasmin, founder of Cabot Crafters for a Cause, said she started the organization 1 1/2 years ago while she was a foster mother.

“I was actually a teacher at the time, and two of my students were taken by [the Department of Human Services], so I became their foster mom. They came to me with a Walmart bag and just a couple of things,” she said, “so I decided to start making blankets for foster kids so they could take them from home to home. That’s how it originated.”

Jasmin said she posted on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in getting together and crocheting for charity, and it quickly evolved into an actual group.

The group is working toward becoming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, she said.

Cabot Crafters for a Cause creates and donates to those in need, she said, including the elderly, the sick and the homeless in Cabot and beyond.

Members will participate in a donation event at Greystone Nursing Home in Cabot at 10 a.m. Oct. 28, she said.

Lapghans (small afghans), eyeglass cases, wheelchair bags, blankets and prayer shawls are a few of the things members will contribute, she said.

“It’s our second year doing it. Our goal is to give each resident one item, and they have 90 residents. We had over the amount we needed last year, and it was great. It’s rewarding — you get to go in their rooms, see them and talk to them. It’s a very cool donation — I think it’s my favorite,” she said.

Jasmin said donations for the event will be accepted from anyone, but new or current members who wish to attend the event in person must also attend the mandatory group meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday at Grinds Coffee Shop in Cabot.

“We’re just going to go over some rules that we need to abide by at the nursing home,” she said. “It’s an informational meeting.

“If someone wants to become a member and make some items, they’re more than welcome to join us. We want people who have made things to be able to go and see these people and their happiness when they receive them.”

Nursing-home residents were appreciative at last year’s event, she said, and enjoyed the company.

“They’re cute and sweet, and you just get a warm, fuzzy feeling when you go in there,” she said.

Jasmin said Cabot Crafters for a Cause members sew backpacks and blankets for foster children, what members call “a traveling hug.”

They also donate prayer shawls and chemo caps throughout the year and provide “Angel Baby” stillborn sets to people in need, she said.

“We were crocheting sets for stillborn babies, then once again, God just worked his magic, and people started donating their wedding gowns to us. We had about 30 wedding gowns that we cut, took apart and made into sets. They’re gorgeous,” she said.

Jasmin said the main mission of Cabot Crafters for a Cause is to bring happiness to people who need it most by providing homemade gifts that have been created with love.

The 34-member group meets once a month and is always open to new members, she said.

Rena Edwards, co-founder of the organization, said members also are encouraged to get together on their own.

Edwards said her favorite way to give back is by donating to the homeless by creating hats, scarves and gloves.

The group will donate items to the homeless in the River Market area of downtown Little Rock in December, she said — an event the group also participated in last year.

“People don’t see them; they’re invisible. I just want them to know that we see them, and we care. They are people, and I don’t believe anyone should feel invisible,” she said.

“My dad always taught us that if you can help someone, you help that person.”

Edwards said she was looking for a way to give back to the community when she came across Jasmin’s initial Facebook post.

Edwards didn’t know how to crochet at first, she said, but quickly learned the skill.

“You don’t have to know how to if you want to get involved. We’ll teach you,” she said.

Edwards said members often use donated yarn, or buy their own materials, to create items to donate.

The members of Cabot Crafters for a Cause make the group unique, she said.

“All of our personalities are so different, but because of this organization, we all get along. Everyone has unique ideas and is willing to listen. We appreciate our differences — they make us strong,” she said.

Edwards said the group is important to her because it gives people more than just items — the members give their time.

“We’re willing to sit there and listen to them, and Kim recently went to someone’s house just because they were having a hard time. I think that’s it. We give them something that a bigger organization can’t. We give them ourselves,” she said.

Jasmin said members can make amazing things with yarn, and she hopes the group can bring some recognition to the dying art.

“I want people to just be able to contact us if they need anything. I want them to have that outlet. If someone needs a chemo cap, we’ll whip something up and deliver it to them,” Jasmin said.

“We’re out here, and we’re here to help.”

For more information or to become a member, contact Jasmin at kim.jasmin1478@gmail.com or visit Cabot Crafters for a Cause on Facebook.

Staff writer Kayla Baugh can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or kbaugh@arkansasonline.com.

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