Posted: Thursday Dec 1, 2011
December 1, 2011
Two Saint Vincent College students have started a new club that their grandmothers might like to join.
Creatively named Threads for Heads, the new student knitting club founded by Mary Bukowski and Muniza Uddin is attracting a growing number of students – both men and women – who enjoy making colorful hats which are donated to cancer patients in the Westmoreland County region who are suffering from hair loss due to chemotherapy treatment.
“When I first learned to make these hats on a small loom, in one month I made 25 of them,” Ms. Bukowski recalled. “I wondered what to do with them. Then I thought about cancer patients and an organization called the American Cancer Society which said they would love to have them to give to patients who attend the cosmetics classes they conduct for women. They really appreciated them and said they could use more so I decided to start a club to teach others how to make them.”
Earlier this fall, Ms. Bukowski and Ms. Uddin set up a display at the student club fair and recruited their first 15 members in a short time. With membership now totaling 50, they meet every Thursday evening at 9:30 p.m. and their numbers continue to grow since some of the women bring their male friends. “It takes a real man to knit,” Ms. Bukowski added. “And it was one of the men who suggested the name for the club. It’s perfect since it sparks curiosity.”
The students report that it takes about two hours to make one hat so they expect to be able to make dozens during the coming months.
As a club officially sanctioned by the Saint Vincent College Student Government Association, the club receives funding for materials as well as the all-important snacks the students enjoy while they are working. “I work part time at Joanne Fabric so I also get a discount on the materials I purchase on behalf of the club,” Ms. Bukowski said.
“Our goals are to learn a creative craft, reduce any stress we might have from the pressure of studying and tests, and have some enjoyable time with friends while doing something worthwhile for others,” Ms. Uddin explained. “While knitting we enjoy talking about school topics but it is all very informal. We all eat while we work with favorite choices being Chick-fil-A, Jioio’s Pizza, chips and popcorn.”
“I fell in love with this very quickly,” Ms. Uddin added. “It only took me about 15 minutes to learn the basics. I love how this club is so selfless. Our goal is to reach out to others in need; we do not aim to make a profit. That is what makes our club so unique; we have fun helping others.”
The hats are made in a variety of colors and yarns to suit both men and women and smaller ones in bright colors are made especially to be attractive to younger patients.
Ms. Bukowski, a junior majoring in communication with minors in marketing and management, and Ms. Uddin, a junior biology/pre-med major, are both from Greensburg. Ms. Bukowski participated in the Equestrian Club last year and has completed a marketing internship at S&L Solutions, a pharmacy staffing service in Latrobe. A volunteer at Weatherwood Manor, she is a member of St. Nicholas Byzantine Church in Greensburg. Ms. Uddin served as a general biology facilitator for the Collaborative Learning Program and completed a pre-medical shadowing internship during the summer at several area hospitals. A member of the Dean’s List, the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society, and the Student Government Association, she is also a volunteer at Emeritus of Latrobe, formerly Green Meadows Personal Care Home and a volunteer at Latrobe Area Hospital. She is a member of the Muslim Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh in Monroeville.
Photo: Mary Bukowski (left) and Muniza Uddin (right) with some of their hand-made knitted hats which they give to cancer patients.