More than three decades ago, Bunnie Clark’s sister-in-law shared an important parenting tip: crocheting is a great way to relax. Then a mother to teenagers, Clark jumped at the advice, picked up the hobby and began crocheting things for her family.
Over the years, she’s made afghans, Christmas stockings, hats, scarves, baby afghans and even sweaters for her beloved Pomeranian pets. Her family has grown to include 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, all of whom have multiple afghans.
Six years ago, Clark, a longtime Lake Shore-Severna Park Rotary Club member, was visiting an elderly Rotarian and decided to take her an afghan. After seeing her friend’s reaction to the gift, Clark felt she could, and should, live the Rotarian motto, “Service Above Self,” by sharing her love of crocheting with others.
On January 27, Clark packed up several afghans and lap blankets and delivered them to PearTree House Assisted Living on Middlebury Road in Pasadena. Clark’s creations were so numerous that every resident at the facility, and even those at PearTree’s second location on Shadow Oak Lane, received a special handmade gift.
“Bunnie showed up on a cold winter’s day to spread warmth and love to our residents,” said Jennie Banner, assisted living manager at PearTree. “We were, of course, surprised and very thankful for the afghans and especially for her kindness.”
One resident summed up everyone’s sentiments. “Oh, my goodness! Isn’t that lovely?” exclaimed Jeanne Beere, a PearTree resident.
For the residents, many of whom used to crochet themselves, handmade afghans are a touch of home.
“I put a lot of time and love into making something that I know others will use and keep close to themselves,” said Clark. “Crocheting brings me great joy.”
Banner said, “Bunnie does such quality work. The patterns and colors are just beautiful. I am just so thankful that there are wonderful, generous people like her in our community.”
Today, Clark’s daughter crochets with her. “Crocheting is her happy place, too,” said Clark. “She’s very good at watching videos and picking up new stitches. She now teaches me new patterns.”
Clark is already working on afghans and lap blankets for another assisted living facility in Severna Park. With the weather still crisp outside, Clark stays warm inside with her hook and yarn close by.
“I never feel guilty watching television because I am crocheting!” said Clark. “I’m being productive!”
(L-R) Jennie Banner, PearTree House Assisted Living manager; Rotarian Bunnie Clark; Heather Hall, resident care manager; and resident Jeanne Beere (seated) all reflected on the afghan donation.