FCPC 1 14

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (1/14/18) — A Hopkins County pastor has organized a community program that will provide local organizations with hats, scarves and hand warmers to give out in addition to water filter covers for residents in developing countries.

The group, Hooks and Needles, is for anyone that crochets, knits, quilts or sews, said Becky Zahrte, pastor at First Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Madisonville and Rose Creek Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Nebo. The crafters meet 6 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday each month at the parsonage located behind FCPC at 1540 Anton Road in Madisonville.

Zahrte, an avid crocheter and Wisconsin native, said the intent is to have a time for hand crafters to be together, while providing blessings for others in need.

“Currently, we are working on three different charity projects,” Zahrte said. “We are making hats, scarves and finger warmers for God’s Warming Place and pocketed scarves for residents at the West Kentucky Veterans Center in Hanson.”

Knitted or crocheted items from the group will go to God’s Warming Place at First Presbyterian Church on Princeton Road in Madisonville, an overnight shelter for people in need of a place to stay, when temperatures dip below freezing during the months of December-February. The organization provides blankets, bathroom facilities, a mattress to sleep on, warm beverages and a hot meal.

“I think we often overlook the less fortunate, and when you make a handmade gift for someone, it speaks volumes related to the meaning of Christianity,” Zahrte said.

Zahrte is teaching those interested to also crochet water filter socks that will be sent to Water with Blessings, a nonprofit mission group based in Middletown, Kentucky. The hand crocheted, tubular socks are sent out to more than 42 countries including Nepal, Kenya, El Salvador and Haiti.

FCPC 2 1 14The knitted or crocheted covers protect filters attached to water hoses, because the filters are fragile and break easily, the pastor explained. 

“They also add a touch of home decor to the devices,” she said. “You're not making an afghan, you’re making an armor for these water filters.”

Knitting involves crafting of yarn using two needles, while crocheting involves using one hook, which is why the group is called Hooks and Needles.

Each item is tagged with a card including the words, "A Gift for You — Made with Love by Hooks and Needles members — Praying you stay cozy and warm."

“I started crocheting when i was 8 years old, Zahrte said. “My grandmother taught me. I enjoy it, because I feel accomplished when I finish a project, and I also love sharing the love of the craft with other people.”

It takes her about four to five hours to crochet a scarf, about three hours to crochet a hat and an hour or two to crochet hand warmers, while a twin-sized afghan can take up to a month to make that involves about 80 hours.

The next Hooks and Needles meeting will be held 6 p.m. Jan. 23. Anyone interested in attending should RSVP by calling Zahrte at (270) 978-3328 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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