While the season of giving is now upon us, for a small group of talented women, giving back to the community is something that happens all year long in Floral Park.
On any given Monday and Wednesday, you’ll find members of Made With Love happily knitting and crocheting big and small treasures at Floral Park Library. While the group has no official instructor, Maryann Pugliese has been crowned the informal leader of the group since its inception.
Pugliese, who has lived in Floral Park for more than 40 years, has had a lifelong passion for knitting and crocheting. “I think I was born with a crochet hook in my hand,” she said.
In 2010, the group originally formed when a few ladies asked if they could use space in the library to get together to work on their knitting and crocheting projects. “It was decided that if we were given the space to work at the library on our own projects, we would also make items to donate to those in need,” Pugliese explained.
As the group grew in size, Pugliese says members have already created and donated more than a dozen items to a variety of local organizations, hospitals and military causes this year. To date they have made and donated hats for chemotherapy patients, red scarves for heart patients and blue scarves for Special Olympics; baby hats for Winthrop Hospital; lap robes for Ronald McDonald House; and blankets for Birthright, The INN and to the Liz’s Day fund-raiser in Floral Park.
Library Director Tracey Simon says she can’t quite recall how the group first came up with its catchy name, but it was a collaborative effort between library staff and members. “Made with Love is a positive presence here at the library because what they do has a life-affirming effect on so many people, from preemies to our men and women in the military. Having them here also highlights our evolving role as a community space,” Simon explained.
Residents who participate come not just from Floral Park but neighboring Frankin Square and Elmont to be a part of the group, which is comprised of 10 to 15 members of all skill levels. “It’s very open, very informal…Anyone can come,” Pugliese said. “The ladies are really very nice and every one gets along really well,” she added.
Pugliese says she the group has received letters thanking them for their donations and its been gratifying to give back to the community. “I don’t drive…but I feel without having to go far from the house at least I can do something to help others,” she said.
Made With Love is always seeking new members. The group meets Monday evenings, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.; and Wednesday mornings, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There is no fee to join. Bring your needles and yarn. The Floral Park Public Library is located at 17 Caroline Place. For more information, call 516-326-6330; or go www.floralparklibrary.org.