By Sheneka Quinitchette
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE
Now that the holiday season is fast approaching, people turn their attention to finding and giving the perfect gift. But Union Independent School’s third graders have been working for months on the perfect gift for some of Durham’s less fortunate.
They have been knitting hats for the homeless, children who take medicine that causes hair loss, cancer patients and premature babies.
“We were looking at the people walking up and down the street looking cold, and we wanted to do something to help them out, and the kids needed to understand what it is to help somebody out,” said master teacher Villa Gaddy who came up with the community service project.
The Treasure Chest Community Project started with the goal of donating 100 hats as a social studies project. Once they learned how to knit, students had to purchase their own yarn and work on their hats during their free time.
“Students thought it would be too hard, but once shown the process they were eager to start,” said Shentelle Livan.“Giving is good because when you give and you have a good attitude, you will get blessed,” said Michael Johnson, third grader.
According to The Sheep Shack, teaching patterns and sharing yarn can create a spirit of generosity through knitters. Psychologists claims that knitting is the new yoga.
Gaddy researched online that knitting is therapeutic and calms children.
“At first I was apprehensive because I didn’t know how I was going to teach the class how to knit,” said Gaddy. “But then I found nifty knit and everything worked out.”
The 3rd graders of UIS realize that it is important to give to others. “If you give, you will be blessed by the Lord,” said Malaya Roberts.
“They won’t feel so sad when they go for their surgery,” said Antonio Myers.
To conclude the project, UIS third graders will be partnering with the Ronald McDonald House, Homeless Shelter of Durham, Durham Rescue Mission and other charities.
Since 1980, the Ronald McDonald House of Durham has provided loving shelter to more than 20,000 pediatric patients and families.
The Durham Rescue Mission is a faith-based, non-profit organization with a primary goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and His redemptive work through ministering to the homeless and addicted in central North Carolina.
“The goal of the project was to spark community awareness in the children to make them less egocentric,” said Livan. “It is important to recognize people who are misfortunate and help them.”
The students recognized the importance in giving to the less fortunate. Some of the students shared their thoughts and feelings about The Treasure Chest Community Project.
“If you give to the homeless they will be thankful,” said Tiana Johnson.