Damariscotta yarn boutique Pine Tree Yarns has been hosting a wonderfully generous campaign since June – which is running indefinitely – whereby one can purchase a hand-knit item from a designated basket for a donation and that donation will go to the Ecumenical Food Pantry in Newcastle.
“I’m just going to keep adding new product to the basket,” said shop owner Elaine Eskesen, whose beautiful, colorful handiwork has been gracing the food-pantry basket on a regular basis. Adorable baby sweaters, as well as lovely, warm sweaters for adults, are among the irresistible items on hand for purchase by donation.
“I have lots of sweaters upstairs, things that I have made, including a Mark Rothko-style poncho,” Eskesen said, adding that she will accept a minimum donation of $50 for the striking poncho, which is valued at $175. She made it from hand-spun yarn in shades of red and purple.
Eskesen said she has donated in excess of $1,000 to the food pantry since June, all money raised via her special basket of handmade items. Even before she came up with the idea to sell items for a donation to the Ecumenical Food Pantry, Eskesen’s business had been donating to the organization “for a couple of years,” she said.
Relieving food insecurity in Lincoln County is a cause close to Eskesen’s heart. “I think awareness is very important for our community,” she said. “The elderly and young children – a lot of them don’t have enough food on their plate.”
If and when Eskesen runs out of sweaters to sell for a food-pantry donation, she will turn to offering skeins of gorgeous hand-spun yarn in her special basket. But that may not be necessary, as Eskesen said she encourages anyone who is interested in making something to be sold in her food-pantry basket to let her know and she will give them the yarn to do it.
“Wouldn’t it be great if other shops in town had a little box of items for a $5 donation to the food pantry?” Eskesen offered. “The customers get something and (the business is) giving something to the community.”
Pine Tree Yarns is located at 74 Main St., Damariscotta. It is online at pinetreeyarns.com and can be reached by phone at 563-5003.