During the holidays at the beginning of the winter season, there was a posting on the wall at Wiscasset Middle High School offering free handmade mittens and hats to students. According to school nurse Joanne Krejsa, the mittens and hats went very quickly during the onset of winter.
Krejsa said the mittens and hats were donated by the St. Philip’s Episcopal Church food pantry group.
According to Gretchen Burleigh-Johnson at the food pantry, the hats and mittens were made and donated mostly by the Westport Island Knitters. Some had been purchased by people who did not knit.
The Westport Island Knitters are a group of women who meet to knit. The knitters began their project last August with a plea from Deb Crawford, one of the knitters, asking all Westport Island knitters to think warm and small because hats and mittens were needed for children.
Cheryl Greenleaf is one of those knitters. She is credited with knitting over 400 pairs of mittens for children in need. Some may have seen her mittens at The First in Wiscasset during the Christmas season of 2014 on a “Mitten Tree” with a sign saying, “Take a pair if you need a pair.”
Greenleaf, who has lived on the island since she was born, recently moved to Arizona, along with her sister, Senie Greenleaf Morton. The sisters were given a farewell party this past October by their many friends.
The Westport Knitters have also donated to the Feed Our Scholars program.