Crocheting Gives 93-Year-Old ‘Something to Do’
It’s a challenge to keep up with 93-year-old Izetta Stoner, especially when trying to get a count on how many hats she has crocheted for her favorite nonprofit. With an average of two hats a day, the tally as of Jan. 10 was 2,479 since she began in February 2017.
“It gives me something to do,” the Woodstock resident said. “I used to read a lot, and I still read, but I love to crochet and I’ve enjoyed this so much.” She also walks early every morning and evening for about a half hour, when the weather’s good.
Izetta donates her hats to The Encouragement Project (TEP), a nonprofit with a heart for encouraging and helping people. “We thrive on connecting volunteers to opportunities, and encouragers to those who need encouraging,” CEO Stephanie Cervantes said. “There are many ways to help and encourage others — with gifts of time, service, provisions and words, and we encourage people to bless others in ways only they can. The variety in that is beautiful.”
One ministry within TEP is the Hugs and Kisses project, with hugs being scarves, and kisses the hats that Izetta makes. They are given to organizations serving children in the North Georgia mountains, Appalachian areas in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee, and also Romania. Over the years, her hats also have gone to kids in foster care and homeless organizations.
Stephanie has encouragement for others like Izetta, who have a skill they enjoy and want to help others. “TEP has a number of projects you could get involved with (www.theencouragementproject.org), or, if you don’t see something that fits your likes and abilities, we encourage you to look for places near you that focus on your interests and … get involved.”