After a successful run last year, Drake-Knit for the Needy is beginning its second year of helping the Iowa Homeless Youth by providing it with homemade scarves, hats and mittens during winter.
“There’s 10,000 homeless youth in Iowa, and our goal is to provide as many as we can with clothing that they need as well as giving them homemade things so they know that someone out there cares about them,” said junior Meredith Job, founder of Drake-Knit for the Needy.
Drake-Knit for the Needy accepts both purchased and homemade winter items. The organization collected over 1,000 items last year, and this year it hopes to collect 2,000 items.
Job operates Drake-Knit for the Needy by herself with help from her parents, who collect the donations at their home in Knoxville, Iowa, and her friends, who have volunteered to drive donations to the Iowa Homeless Youth Centers.
“When I take them to the shelters, all the girls get so excited and try to pick ones that would match their coats,” Job said. “It’s making a difference, and it’s very rewarding.”
Job created Drake-Knit for the Needy after she served on the Iowa Homeless Youth Centers board during her sophomore year.
“I learned a lot about homeless youth in Iowa, and I decided I wanted to do something about it,” Job said. “I started volunteering at the different centers and interacting with the children.”
Apart from her interaction with the children, Job received a lot of inspiration from a CNN special entitled “Heroes” that premiered during Thanksgiving of 2010.
“I was really inspired by all the everyday people who were making a big difference, and it made me feel like one person can make a difference, so I thought I would try,” Job said.
Job said she decided to learn how to knit so she could help the homeless youth she had met through the Iowa Homeless Youth Centers. By watching a five-minute YouTube video, she had learned how to knit a scarf.
“It was actually really awesome to see Meredith start this,” said junior Jill Collins, Job’s roommate during sophomore year. “We had only become close the second semester of freshman year, and I had no idea how driven she was to help others. Once she thought of the idea, she was determined to get it started.”
Job is looking for any individual or organization that is willing to help her cause by either donating yarn or by purchasing or making winter accessories.
“It’s a really cool thing for people to do together,” Job said. “I know a lot of my friends, even without me, have been getting together to watch a movie and knit because you don’t have to think about it that much — it’s mindless.”