NEW ORLEANS (September 13, 2016)—This month, The National WWII Museum is celebrating 10 years of Knit Your Bit—a volunteer-based effort to collect and distribute hand-knit scarves to veterans. On September 17, knitters and crocheters are invited to participate in a knit-in beneath the suspended planes of the Museum’s US Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center. During the event, which takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., area knitting shops will also display their crafts, and local students will distribute scarves to any veterans who visit the Museum.
The Knit Your Bit program was originally conceived and organized in 2006 by Lauren Handley, who was then the Museum’s education programs coordinator. When Handley began the project, her goal was to receive only 30 scarves, but the initiative gathered steam as knitters passed the information along through club meetings, newsletters, emails and other channels of communication. Since its launch 10 years ago, more than 10,000 knitters and crocheters in all 50 states have participated in the Knit Your Bit program. Through their efforts, the Museum has distributed 50,000 scarves to veterans’ centers, hospitals and service organizations across the country.
“On the Home Front during World War II, knitting served as one way Americans could support the war effort—thousands picked up their needles to knit socks and sweaters to keep American soldiers warm,” said Handley, now the Museum’s assistant director for public programs. “I’m in awe of how Knit Your Bit has expanded over the years. We’re thrilled to celebrate this grass-roots program, which allows us to connect directly with veterans and show our appreciation of their service to our country.”
Knit-in participants should bring their own needles or hooks on September 17 and be prepared to work on inspiring projects while swapping stories with fellow knitters. Local Veterans Affairs representatives will also be onsite and available for questions. Additionally, in order to bring awareness to the Knit Your Bit program, the Museum’s Sherman Tank will be draped in a 30-foot scarf created by local community knitters—a tribute to the valuable service provided to veterans across the country.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today—so that future generations will know the price of freedom, and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America's National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit nationalww2museum.org.