95 and still knitting for Warm the Children

  • Marjorie Murphy, 95, of Gill, knits hats for Warm the Children. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 11/15/2019 11:02:33 PM
Modified: 11/15/2019 11:02:18 PM

GILL — Along with the colorful new snow jackets and boots that make up a winter outfit from Warm the Children, many children receive a hat or mittens that are handmade with love by people like 95-year-old Gill resident Marjorie Murphy. This year, she knitted 25 hats for the cause.

“I just have a lot of yarn given to me, which is why I got into it,” said Murphy, “because I feel obligated to use that yarn for some good purpose.”

She said her hats often have stripes because she never has full skeins of yarn. This year, she experimented with various patterns by both knitting and crocheting.

Murphy grew up in Greenfield, living in several places with her parents, Samuel and Edna Bassett. Her favorite home was on Madison Circle.

“I loved that house! It had a beautiful, wide staircase to go upstairs, instead of a little, narrow one, and you had to go through a little room to get to my bedroom. It kind of became a playroom; I had a desk there, dolls and all that stuff. So I had a bedroom plus a little playroom,” Murphy recalled of her own childhood. “My dad would pack the snow down and put a layer of water on it so I had a place to skate. And it was close to Beacon Hill, so we had sledding over there.”

She recalls plenty of cold winters, with lots of snow.

“The snow would be piled so high you couldn’t even see the road from the sidewalk,” she said.

To keep warm, Murphy would wear long underwear, ski pants, heavy jackets, scarves, hats and mittens. She remembers that a cousin had a snowsuit to wear outside.

Murphy was initially reluctant to be the subject of a newspaper article.

“I really didn’t think I wanted to be written up in the paper, but the more I thought about it, I thought, ‘Maybe I could inspire someone to put a little more effort into giving,’” she said. “If they had the ability to knit or crochet, how important it was to use their yarn and their talents to make some hats!

“And then I was thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if every household could make a small donation?’” she added. “They don’t realize how much it adds up. I know they want to raise $90,000 this year and that’s the reason I said I’d do the interview. Just a small amount — that’s all I can give — but it adds up.”

About Warm the Children

Warm the Children was started by the Greenfield Recorder in 1993 to help families in need to avoid spending money every year on things children need, such as warm winter clothes.

The Recorder coordinates the fundraising drive which, along with the work of volunteers, fuels the charity. Wilson’s Department Store arranges purchases of winter clothes for children up to age 12. Community Action Pioneer Valley works with several local service agencies to screen eligible families and set up shopping appointments during the three days when the “shop” is open at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

To donate to next year’s goal of $90,000, send a check to: Warm the Children, c/o The Recorder, P.O. Box 1367, Greenfield, MA 01302. Also, new clothing may be dropped off at the Greenfield Recorder, 14 Hope St., between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Reach Chris Harris at 413-772-0261, ext. 265 or charris@recorder.com.


Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906

 

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