Stitches from the Heart passes original goal of 175 hats for charity

Members of Stitches from the Heart are pictured with the 262 hats they’ve stitched so far. Pictured from left to right are Dawn Thornton, Shannan Duenwald, Sheryl Lubberden, Jackie Harvey, Beverly Graves and Lovena Van Haaften.

Members of Stitches from the Heart at First Baptist Church surpassed their goal of stitching 175 hats for charity, producing a total of 262.

However, the local group isn’t finished stitching hats just yet. The group meets twice a month during the school year and plans to continue stitching hats until October. The hand-made hats will be donated to the Children and Family Urban Movement in Des Moines, an organization that supports the potential of children, youth and families through educational success, healthy living and community engagement.

The group formed in 2011 and has local, national and international core missions they donate to each year. The group stitches prayer shawls for church members or friends, prayer pockets for the church family and hats, cocoons and car seat covers for new babies born at Pella Regional Health Center.

Additionally, the group stitches hats, scarves and mittens for families at Crossroads of Pella, various items for The Preemie Project (an Iowa Charity that supplies Iowa hospitals, such as the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics) and sweaters and blankets for World Vision, an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development and advocacy organization.

Yet, the group’s charity doesn’t stop there. Volunteers have also supplied dialysis renal sleeves, fingerless gloves for church members, cancer caps for patients at the hospital and lap robes for Pella nursing home residents when they move to the cottages.

Last year, the group donated 648 individual items to multiple organizations. This year, the group is dedicating the 262 hats (and counting) for the church’s 175th anniversary.

It’s a group for individuals to come to not only stitch but to have a casual conversation, make new friends and share their thoughts in a safe space, says group and church member Sheryl Lubberden.

The group is always welcoming new members, whether you’re a beginner or advanced at knitting/crocheting. They provide yarn and needles, and there is no cost to join. Advanced stitchers will share their knowledge, and beginners can learn from experienced stitchers. Those interested in joining the group can stop by the church or call Lubberden at 641-780-2610.

Emily Hawk can be reached at or by calling the newsroom at 641-628-3882.

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