Knitters and Crocheters Care's participation at the TAPS event was truly a success! We have been asked to participate again next year - and I was thrilled to tell the people at TAPS that we would definitely be there (www.taps.org for anyone who would like to check them out).
I have lots of pictures and stories from the event - so I'll upload them over a few days, as I don't want to overwhelm anyone (including myself).
The exhibit hall was much quieter and more serious on Friday - and was much more cheerful and lively on Sunday. At one point on Sunday our booth was surrounded by people talking and laughing and learning to knit and crochet. It was very interesting to see how people attending the TAPS event changed over the three days. We taught a few people on Friday who looked lonely, sad and confused. When these people stopped by again on Sunday, we noticed a change in mood and attitude. The participants were more positive and proactive in the way they approached things. Generally, they were also showing more pride in their own appearances and were taking much better care of themselves. I am not naive - I know that the program as a whole is what helped these people to begin healing - but for some of them, we were a part of that healing.
Almost everyone at TAPS is a volunteer. The first year, you participate as a survivor. However, when you come back after the first year, you are a survivor and you are also a volunteer. While many of the stories we heard were heartbreaking, it was also uplifting to see how the TAPS program gave people the skills to cope with their loss. Knitters and Crocheters Care was part of the Exhibit Hall - and most of the exhibits concerned creative ways to deal with grief. The TAPS program is truly amazing and I'd like to do whatever I can to continue helping.
Next year, I'd like to bring approximately 350 memory pillows and more donations for the silent auction. I'll be posting about these goals throughout the next year.
I taught this woman to crochet 3 years ago, at a TAPS event. She had lost her husband and her mother both within a short amount of time before that year's TAPS event. She told me she wanted to honor her mother by learning to crochet. So, I gave her and her friend a quick lesson. When she got home, she bought a pattern book and made this aghan. She called it her grief afghan
Three years later, this woman is totally addicted to crocheting! She made the following beautiful afghan and donated it to TAPS for their silent auction