The Naughty Needlers in Weymouth are a group of 58 women who knit and crochet clothing for the homeless, Marines, premature babies, children and the elderly. At 88, founder Evie Fowler remains the guiding light. They keep the spirit of giving going the whole year long.
At the end of each year, I like to check in with some of the people I’ve featured here. I first met Evie Fowler in 2006. Evie is a tiny woman of 88 years who packs a powerful spirit.
The day I caught up with her, Evie had just delivered six large bags filled with afghans, mittens, sweaters and socks to the Weymouth Senior Center, which took them to the Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Boston.
The gifts had been made by the Naughty Needlers, a group of 58 women who knit and crochet clothing and blankets for babies, children, the elderly, Marines and veterans. Since Fowler founded the group in 2001 at the senior center, it has steadily grown. That day’s delivery was just one of a half-dozen this month.
Because of the Needlers, Matthew Tobin of Quincy and his fellow Marines in the 2nd Battalion in Afghanistan have warmer helmets.
Premature babies at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth and Boston Medical Center have warming caps, some the size of a thimble, and baby blankets.
Elders at the Salvation Army in Quincy have lap robes to warm them in the vans, and children in the Guideposts Knit for Kids program have soft, colorful sweaters.
That’s not all. The Needlers also donated $2,000 from their harvest fair to the senior center.
Quite a legacy for 2009.
I asked Evie what keeps the Needlers going.
“This whole group is just so full of the feeling that they are giving and helping someone else – it’s such a pleasure to be here with them every Tuesday morning,” Fowler said.
Susan Barnes, director of Weymouth Elder Services, calls Evie “the Energizer Bunny. They do so much charitable work, but they are also such a social group. You walk by the room on Tuesday mornings and you hear all this talking and laughing. They are not a bunch of old ladies sitting and knitting.”
Although Evie has had health issues, Barnes says, “Evie always bounces back, she doesn’t give in to anything. She is also our bookkeeper at the center.”
I have met many generous groups and people this past year. Each helps others in different ways, but most share this with the Needlers: they keep on giving all year long. That’s a good thought with which to end 2009.
As 2010 begins, I thank everyone who has called, written and e-mailed with suggestions for this column. I hope for many more in the new year. Of all the ideas I get, they’re the best.
Reach Patriot Ledger writer Sue Scheible at firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-786-7044, or The Patriot Ledger, Box 699159, Quincy 02269-9159. Read her Good Age blog on our Web site.