Story by CINDY
Photos by SHELIA
Time is one of the most precious commodities. It is something that escapes quickly and is not retrievable; however, when it is spent doing for others, it is at its highest value.
Volunteering one’s time is selfless act with great rewards. Meet Pooler resident Donna Davies who donates her time and talent to the Pooler Senior Citizens Center. She has been a Pooler local for almost ten years, having resided in Springhill, Florida for many years before the death of her parents. She relocated here to be closer to her family: a son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and a beautiful new great grandson.
At the age of 30, Donna decided she wanted to learn to knit. “I just sat down one day and bought a book. I couldn’t find anyone to teach me how to do it. The book had pictures that showed you how to do it with the different stitches. And that is how I picked it up”, she confessed. However, knitting was not her first love with yarn.
When she was just 9 years old, her Mom introduced her to their neighbor and a flair for crafts was born. “My parents and I lived in New Jersey, and the lady that lived behind us taught me. She was an elderly lady and started me off with the basics, a granny square. I could never remember what to do when it came to those corners,” Donna reminisced.
Over the years, Donna has knitted over a hundred different items, but her first piece has remained her favorite. “Soon after I first started, I did a napkin with the cable stitch. It took me awhile to pick up that stitch because you use the two main knitting needles and double pointed needles with that. But it turned out really pretty. After I finished it, I had a neighbor that loved it. I gave it to her and she started crying and even offered to pay for it,” the knitter recalled.
Donna began volunteering her time to teach the knitting class. “Susan Edwards, the director of the Senior Center, just called me up one day and asked if I would be interested in teaching. She had a couple of ladies that was interested in learning to knit. So I said sure, I will teach them what I know. They are learning the basics right now, knit 1, pull 1.” Class is at the Pooler Senior Center on Mondays from 10am-12pm.
Yarn is not this crafty lady’s only talent. A few years ago, she taught a class at the Senior Citizen Center on making whirligigs out of plastic canvas. She discovered her admiration for this craft while living in Florida. “I used to get the Mary Maxim Craft Magazines and they carried the whirligig kits. When I got the kit, I made one and had so much fun. As soon as I could get one made, I had neighbors that would come around and would ask if they could buy one. So I started selling them.”
Donna has been an active member of First Baptist Church of Pooler since 2009. It wasn’t until then that she discovered she could utilize her talents and love for crafts to help those across the world. The congregation participates with The Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization that provides spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Operation Christmas Child is one of this organization’s mission projects. The gist of the maneuver is to pack needed and wanted items into a shoebox to send thousands of miles across the land. The items include personal hygiene (non-liquid), school supplies and toys. “I work on items for the Operation Christmas Child working throughout the year. Out of plastic, I have made 88 jewelry boxes, necklaces and bracelets. I also have crocheted 100 hats, plus washcloths and little pocketbooks. Just whatever we can get into a shoebox,” the talented lady explained. “One year I personally filled up over 300 shoe boxes. It’s something to be proud of. You are helping out a lot of children that wouldn’t get anything. Our church played a video of the children receiving their boxes. You see them crushing that shoe box to their heart with a big smile, it makes you feel really good doing something for someone else,” she concluded
Donna’s continued dedication to her community has proven how just one volunteer can make a difference.