Keeping Kids Warm, One Eight Inch Square at a Time

The guest bloggers this week are Anne Lagos from Saint Luke Greek Orthodox Church Philoptochos Chapter in Broomall, PA and National Board member Alexis Limberakis. Anne is the Chair of a knitting project, along with Joanna Mattis, that aims to warm the bodies and hearts of people in need locally and internationally. Please read on to learn how a little time, some yarn, and a couple of knitting needles can make a whole lot of difference in a person’s life.
Dee Karras, Co-Chair: Anne Lagos,  Penny Mattis, Co-Chair:Joanna Mattis
During the past year, our St. Luke Philoptochos Chapter started participating in a new outreach project called KasCare-Knit a Square (  The mission of KasCare- Aid for Aids Orphans is to provide blankets to children suffering from HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The online movement started in 2008 after a conversation between two families about the chronic shortage of blankets in South Africa. It called on the world’s knitters to knit or crochet standard 8” squares and send them to South Africa where volunteers would make them into blankets and distribute them to children.

In Broomall, PA, the chairs of the project met at the church three or four times a month to help members get started.  Knitting experience was not required to participate and for those ladies that did not knit, there were expert knitters on hand to teach them.  All that was needed was size 7 to 9 knitting needles, the desire to help others, and enthusiasm!  Expert knitters could make their squares when it was convenient for them.  

The ladies knit 8” squares in any color or design, in washable orlon or wool. These squares were then sent to South Africa. The children that receive the blankets are orphaned and homeless and many times have HIV/AIDS.  Our members have knitted hundreds of squares and we have sent 600 of them to South Africa.

The ladies have decided to continue the knitting project, but will now be sending additional squares, already made, and new knitted items, to an American based charity called Project Linus (  Knit afghans, baby blankets, hats etc. are donated to this charity and distributed to children in hospitals, the elderly in nursing homes and other needy people.  This allows the Chapter to be more hands on and help people in their community.

After a short summer hiatus, the group is continuing to meet two evenings and two days a month, to provide assistance to those that would like to learn to knit and contribute to the project.  By having both day and night sessions, as many interested members who would like can be accommodated.  This is a wonderful outreach project in that it allows members of all ages to participate and it can be done at a time that meets an individual’s personal schedule. The knitting sessions at church are open to anyone that would like to attend and it is a great opportunity for some Philoptochos fellowship.

We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of our members and it has been a very rewarding project that we are delighted to participate in.