What began as a theology class project, has kept one close-knit group of friends together for a decade.
Every Wednesday, a small group of knitting and crochet fanatics meets in Conway to go over current donation projects, discuss future charitable involvement, read from the Word, and share prayer requests.
"Our mission was to use our talents to benefit others while studying the Word of God," said member Jean Leffler.
On Wednesday, September 26, 2007, Lynn Pownall, Jean Leffler and Connie Balogh met for their first official meeting, and the group, now with more than 20 members, has rarely missed a Wednesday since.
The group, deemed Close Knit Faith Community, or just Close-knit for short, held a particularly special meeting on Wednesday, September 27, 2017.
This date marked exactly 10 years since the group began meeting.
When asked why they continue the group’s mission, many members said that love was the driving force behind the group’s remarkable attendance.
Member Connie Balogh jokingly said, "We all love to knit, but you can only wear so many hats. It’s an outlet for our creativity."
The group also said the fellowship is what keeps them coming.
"I wouldn’t drive 30 miles out of my way, if I didn’t like the people involved," stated member Nancy Frevert, who travels from Little Rock each week to attend the meetings.
The anniversary meeting, held in the former Boys and Girls Club building, started with an opening prayer, and was complete with cake, punch, and as always, fellowship and laughter.
In the 10 years they have been meeting, the group has likely met about 515 times, has averaged about 1,030 hours of charitable service, and has created more than 3,000 items for donation.
"Our numbers continue to increase, as does the list of our charities," Leffler said.
All items, such as lap robes, hats, blankets, sweaters, booties, and toys, are hand-made by the group and blessed before being donated to various charities including; Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Faulkner County Nursing Home Gift Fund and Life Choices, Baptist Hospital Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit, Operation Gratitude, the Bereavement Ministry and the newborn unit at CRMC.
Members present to the 10-year meeting were Connie Balogh, Jean Leffler, Nancy Frevert, Gail Sharp, Bernice Ballheimer, Jessica Vidrio, Ruth Slaton, Beth Boucher, Marcia Beltowski, Retha Faucett, Cassandra Bergschneider, Mary Jo Isanhart and Karin Kirk.
Absent members include Regina Ryan, Liz Evans, Ann Page, Virginia Douglas, Lynn Pownall, and Sandy Raniszeski.
If you are a knitter or crocheter and would like to have an outlet for your avocation, or if you would like to learn how to knit or crochet, the group meets every Wednesday morning at the After School Building (formerly the Boys and Girls Club on Deer Street in Conway) at 10 a.m. and usually adjourn by noon.