KnitKnack, the popular knitting shop on Springfield Avenue in Maplewood, is hosting four charity drives this fall.
The shop has pledged three blanket/afghan kits to the "Ryan's Hope" benefit for Ryan Burbank, the young man from Maplewood who was paralyzed in a pool accident this summer.
"I had been looking for a way to help in a more impactful way than my singular monetary donation could," said owner Meera Kothari Cho. "As a parent with a child at Columbia High School...I felt this could easily have been any of our kids or families, thriving one minute and devastated the next. So if we can do anything to help and contribute to hope so close to home, I am more than happy to reach out."
Through mid-October, KnitKnack is holding a food drive to benefit the Community Food Bank of New Jersey to coincide with World Food Day on Oct. 16 and US Food Day on Oct. 24. Drop off canned, sealed or boxed non-perishable healthy food options at the store.
To benefit local veterans, Knitknack is collecting 6" squares in worsted weight yarn, to be knitted into completed blankets. They will also be collecting completed afghans, both through Oct. 5.
Throughout the year, the shop collects caps for newborns at the University Hospital in Newark. Says Cho, "We truly believe charity begins at home. We have some prolific hat knitters among our Knitknackers, who are making sure Newark is the newborn hat capital!"
Finally, Cho said the store's "Cast on Baby" video, a knitting parody of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," has reached over 43,000 views on YouTube.