If you have attended ‘Loop Group’, our drop-in knitting night on Thursdays at The Loop, you might have met Tina B.  She is in the ninth grade and a devoted knitter – pictured below knitting the Cobweb Doily from A Gathering of Lace.

Tina knitting the Cobweb Doily from A Gathering of Lace

Tina knitting the Cobweb Doily from 'A Gathering of Lace'

Now we’ve learned she is also devoted to bringing happiness to other people. Tina approached us recently to ask if The Loop would make a donation to help cover the costs of a trip she wants to make this June.  This is no average summer holiday – she will be travelling to Poland with a group called Coalition for Kids, to visit terminally ill children to help make their short lives a little bit more pleasant.  The children helped by the program suffer from diseases like cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy. As Tina explained it to me,  many of the kids’ wishes are as simple as an iPod or a good bed. Check out the Coalition for Kids website to learn more about the program and its “Journeys of a Lifetime”.

I was impressed to learn about the funding structure for the program. Each teenagers’ trip costs $36oo and the fundraising structure employs a ‘pay it forward’ philosophy. Each participant raises half of the money for their own trip, and when they return they commit to raising another $1800 to cover half the cost of another student’s trip. One participant helps pay for the next one’s trip, and so on.

This is not something we normally do with this blog space, but I wanted to tell our community about this program  in case anyone would like to support Tina’s trip. The Loop will be making a donation and I will make one personally too, because I think it’s so important for young people to look outward and take an interest in the world.

If you are a knitter reading this, you know that non-knitters hold stereotyped ideas of who and what knitters are. We know better. Similarly, I think Tina – as a young knitter preparing to make this remarkable trip – does not fit the stereotype of a self-centred teenager.

Please feel free to contact us at The Loop if you would like to make a contribution to Tina’s “Journey of a Lifetime” by May 1st 2009.