Bank Crochet Club Gifts Handmade Items to OC Rescue Mission

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Giving Tuesday warmed heads and hearts this week, as the 25-member Crochet Club at the Bank of America Financial Center in Fashion Island delivered 165 handmade items to a local nonprofit.

The group gave beanies, scarves, hats, purses and baby sweaters to the Orange County Rescue Mission on Tuesday, brightening the holidays for its homeless guests.

“We’ll use all of these as part of our Magic of the Mission event later in December,” Mission Marketing Manager Kristi Nichols said. “These items will be given to our kids’ store, where resident children can ‘buy’ to give to their parents.”

Officials expect 300 people from other campuses to attend the Christmas celebration at our Village of Hope in Tustin, Nichols noted.

Theresa Gonzales and her 20-month old daughter, Audrina, residents of OC Rescue Mission on Giving Tuesday as the Bank of America Fashion Island crochet club donated 165 handmade items.
— Photo by Richard Simon ©

Resident Amber Roe shared that when she and her husband had their baby, they were asked to leave the rehab residence they were living at because doesn’t allow children.

They turned to the Mission for help, and found it.

“We are so fortunate to be here,” Roe said.

Others have stories of hard luck turning them out and finding the Mission when they needed it the most.

Jason, a security guard living at the Mission, lost his job as a glazier with a major Orange County construction company six months ago and subsequently his Huntington Beach home.

He was thankful for the opportunity to restart his life at the Mission, along with his wife and 6-year-old son.

Jason looked over at the table displaying the dozens of colorfully crocheted products and voiced his appreciation for the largess of the Crochet Club.

Every year, the Bank of America single-needle artisans choose a different charity to support.

Bank of America employees receive two hours of paid leave every week to volunteer with local charities. In 2018, the bank’s Orange County employees volunteered more than 59,000 hours.

As bank employees, the members of the Crochet Club understand the classic financial concept of return on investment. Volunteerism also provides returns, such as the long-lasting, feel-good “interest” from giving selflessly.

(left to right) OC Rescue Mission residents Kiara McSgera, Amber Roe, and Cecilia Placentia on Giving Tuesday as the Bank of America Fashion Island crochet club donated 165 handmade items.
— Photo by Richard Simon ©

Crocheting is an ancient form of weaving that, unlike knitting, marries a single hook to a single strand of yarn. Designs range from simple to complex, depending on one’s skill. Since its founding in February 2018, the Crochet Club has donated their yarn art to Knots of Love for babies in neonatal care, and Operation Gratitude, whose members assemble care packages for the military.

The Mission is a fitting organization for the crochet group to include on their donation list.

Since its founding in 1963, the Mission’s founding, faith-based goal remains unchanged: “…to minister the love of Jesus Christ to the Least, the Last and the Lost of our community the provision of assistance in the areas of guidance, counseling, education, job training, shelter, food, clothing, health care and independent living communities.”

Their programs are designed move homeless men, women, and children toward self-sufficiency.

Contact the writer at [email protected]

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