‘It’s been gratifying’: William & Mary student’s hobby is helping people with MS

Posted at 8:27 PM, Aug 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-03 23:13:05-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Henrico woman’s 10-year-old non-profit is helping patients living with multiple sclerosis lead more comfortable lives, according to CBS 6.

It's a new twist on an old hobby. Meredith Polk and her friends knit for hours at a time creating scarves, which are sold through Miles of Scarves,even during these dog days of summer.

“Yeah. Looking forward to fall," Polk said. "They’re all handmade. The stereotype is that knitting is something that old women typically do.”

The 20-year-old William & Mary student weaves her own trail.

“It started off as a ball of yarn and now it’s a scarf that someone is going to wear,” Polk said.

Miles of Scarves, Meredith’s ten-year-old non-profit, provides comfort to people in need. Every penny earned selling her handmade creations benefits the MS Society.

“We really formed a community around it,” says Meredith.

But this is no solitary endeavor. Dedicated volunteers lend a hand every week.

Sixteen-year-old Joanna Jenkins said she has "probably made 30 or 40" scarves.

Call it a 21st century twist on the sewing circle.

“It's just a new way to meet new people and new friends,” said 17-year-old Isabella da Cunha.

Smartphones take a backseat for a different type of social media. This tight-knit group has a ball.

“It's been gratifying to see how it's grown and to see what kind of impact we’ve had,” said Polk, who attends William & Mary.

Learning the knack for knitting can vary.

“My first one looked like a mermaid tail it," Joanna laughed. "It was scary and we couldn’t sell it because it was so bad.”

Some needle the ladies for taking up an ancient past time, but criticism rolls off their backs.

“They kind of ask us if we’re old ladies. 'Isn’t that an old lady hobby?'" Isabella said. "Yeah, but we’re old ladies at heart kind of thing.”

Every one of their fibers is dedicated to helping which makes this centuries old hobby ultra-hip.

“We’ve knit over two miles of scarves, we estimate,” Polk explained. “We’ve raised over $100,000 in ten years. The fact that we get to enjoy ourselves when we give back is really a plus.”

The organization is expanding to four chapters across Richmond.

“It's really cool when you finish a project," 16-year-old Virginia Robertson said. "You’re like. ‘Wow! I made that!’”

Volunteers who are spinning a good yarn with heart.

“As long as people need scarves,” Polk said. “I know this is an important cause to me and other people. I want to keep doing it until there is a cure.”

Miles of Scarves sells their handmade scarves between $15-$30.