Coldstream Meadows “Chicks with Sticks” Anita Weckerle (left)

Coldstream Meadows “Chicks with Sticks” Anita Weckerle (left)

Project is seniors helping seniors

Chicks with Sticks at Coldstream Meadows knits up a storm to benefit Mission without Borders

Coldstream Meadows is happy to have a number of skilled residents who recently got together to start a knitting group to make clothing to donate to Mission without Borders.

Missions without Borders is a Christian organization that serves children, families and elderly people suffering poverty and oppression. The organization has been helping people in need for more than 50 years. Missions without Borders works across Europe’s six poorest countries and aims to move children, families and seniors towards self-sufficiency. With the help and support of sponsors, Missions without Borders plans to help more than 20,000 children, 9,000 families and more than 150,000 elderly people this year.

Peggy Dietz, a longtime sponsor of Mission without Borders, and her friend Heather Hackman led the start-up of this group who call themselves Chicks with Sticks. Dietz approached her mother, Betty Kemper, a resident of Coldstream Meadows, to join the group and recruit fellow residents to join.

“At first a few of the residents were hesitant to join, they had already ‘been there and done that,’ but after learning that they would be donating what they made to the needy, residents changed their minds,” said Jamie Stakkestad, marketing coordinator at Coldstream Meadows. “Knowing they could help someone gave the knitting a purpose and allowed the residents to feel appreciated and excited about their work.

“In five short months, the ladies of this group created a number of beautiful and functional articles of clothing to send away to Missions without Borders. The items they created will not only help benefit the elderly, but also children and families who are in need.”

As well as wanting to help out a good cause, Dietz also had other reasons for approaching her mom and other seniors to participate in the group. Dietz is an avid knitter and has read many studies about the health benefits — both physical and mental — that knitting can provide.

Repetitive acts, such as knitting and crocheting, have been known to help prevent and manage stress as well as pain and depression which in turn helps strengthen the body’s immune system. The action of knitting has also been found to change brain chemistry by decreasing stress hormones and increasing feel-good serotonin and dopamine.

“So there you have it, pick up some knitting needles and take a lesson — your creations could not only help someone in need, they can also help improve your health, body and mind,” said Stakkestad.