In 2004 at Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN, the National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) launched their program “ Stitch to WIN Against Breast Cancer.” Since then over 70 retailers have had events in their own communities. TNNA’s charitable partner Living Beyond Breast Cancer is a Philadelphia based, national organization offering direct support, information, and education for breast cancer survivors and their families.
Last month, TNNA had a booth at the 6th Annual Conference for Young Women Affected by Breast Cancer in Denver, CO where over 650 women— breast cancer survivors, supporters and health professionals — came together in Denver CO to learn valuable information, gather support and share their incredible spirit.
From TNNA’s press release:
TNNA shared the benefits and joy of needlearts with these courageous women, as well. Throughout the weekend, the Stitch to WIN Against Breast Cancer booth was surrounded by these new stitchers as they enjoyed learning to knit, crochet, needlepoint and cross stitch during their breaks from the scheduled programming. A few only needed a refresher course as they had learned to stitch as children at their grandmothers’ knees. Most always wanted to know how but had never had the opportunity. Each of them walked away with a smile and a new-found passion for the needlearts.
Many women stopped by the booth just to share their stories about how stitching helped them get through some very difficult times. They talked about the emotional, spiritual and therapeutic benefits of the needlearts – how their knitting or needlepoint kept their fingers nimble and their spirits up during the long hours of treatment.
Local retailers Carole Jacobs of Ewenique Yarns and Denise Seale and twin sister Danielle of Cherry Tree Needlepoint came and brought along volunteers from their shops to help support the event. Joined by Pam Aman, an independent Yarn Sales Rep based in Denver, these TNNA members and customers shared their time and needlearts talents with what seemed to be a never-ending stream of enthusiastic new stitchers. “I’m amazed by the energy and vitality of these courageous young women,” commented Carole. “ . . . and they’re taking to stitching with a real excitement and determination!”
Sherry Mulne, marketing consultant for TNNA, says, “I can’t even begin to express the spirit of these events. I saw women crying (happy tears) about their newfound passion for the needlearts. I’ve been embraced by women and told how much we’ve enriched their lives. And I’ve heard amazing stories about how the needlearts have helped both patients and supporters get through terrible times.”
The info on their website is a little out of date, but the program is going strong and there are more plans for events in 2006. Ask your LYS owner if they are a member of TNNA and find out if you can help bring a Stitch to WIN Against Breast Cancer event to your area.