Links to the Yarn Ministry
presented in the March 5, 2012 Wall Street Journal
People have been asking about the articles that appeared in the March 6, 2012 Wall Street Journal. So we are providing links. The links to the articles are below and the text of the article that tells about our church’s involvement (same as the second link) follow.
A link to the article about our church’s role in their ministry: (The complete text of that article is printed below.)
A link to the accompanying video:
|On April 29, 2012 the story was picked up the the Stow Sentry. Here is a link to that article.|
An Ohio Church Puts the Yarn in Japan's 'Yarn Alive' Club
By YUMIKO ONO
When Jill France of Stow, Ohio, heard last fall that knitting aficionados in a badly damaged Japanese fishing village could use some yarn, she and her fellow church members sprang into action.
Ms. France, a 62-year-old retiree, co-chairs a knitting group at the United Presbyterian Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, that makes "prayer shawls" to be given to people in need. Her group of 15 women collected knitting needles, crochet hooks and a total of 40 pounds of yarn that they bought or found at home. They shipped it all off to the Yarn Alive knitting club in Shichigahama, Japan.
"So often, we forget" about a distant disaster as time passes, Ms. France said, "and we go about our merry way."
Ms. France is the cousin of Teddy Sawka, a Christian missionary in the Japanese fishing village of Shichigahama, which was badly damaged in the tsunami last March, leaving thousands of people—including many elderly residents—homeless and living in temporary huts. Ms. Sawka has organized a knitting club there to give elderly tsunami survivors an activity, appealing for yarn in the U.S., Europe and all over Japan.
Zonna Fenn, a seamstress in Cuyahoga Falls and a member of the prayer-shawl group, says she heard it was hard to get bright-colored yarn in Japan. So Ms. Fenn, who likes to crochet, made a point of picking out multicolored, variegated yarn—the kind that she said looked "fun to work with."
Ms. Fenn says it was "heartbreaking" last year to see footage of the tsunami washing away cars and houses. She recalled watching in horror and thinking, "There must be people in there." In particular, she said, she was worried about the widows in the Japanese knitting club, Yarn Alive, who were finding it difficult to carry on after the disaster, but who were proud and didn't like to ask for things.
"They survived it, but everything they had was gone," Ms Fenn said. "Sitting here with all my stuff, I'm thinking, 'If that was all gone, wow, I'd be depressed.'"
In return for the donated yarn, the Yarn Alive women sent small, flower-shaped lapel pins they crocheted to each of the women in Ohio. Ms. Fenn says she wears her pin so that she can explain her group's effort to people who ask. One neighbor who heard the story is now preparing to send some yarn of her own, she said.
The knitters at Yarn Alive say they look forward to getting exotic yarn with labels in different languages, and often check which country the yarn came from. "It makes me realize that people all over the world really care about us," said Setsuko Kasuya, an 80-year-old widow who lost her house and grocery store.
In Cuyahoga Falls, prayer-shawl knitter Pat Ewald said, "I do feel that we're doing what we should be doing." She is currently working on a shawl for her daughter's mother-in-law, whose husband just had a stroke.
A version of this article appeared Mar. 5, 2012, on page A12 in some U.S. editions of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: An Ohio Church Puts the Yarn in Japan's 'Yarn Alive' Club.