When the invitation came to knit or crochet scarves for the caring and compassionate staff members at the Wilf Campus for Senior Living in Somerset as a way of saying “thank-you,” members of the community responded generously.

A multifaceted senior living organization, the Wilf Campus staff members work year-round to ensure that senior community members and residents are living fulfilling, independent lives as their care requirements continue to change.

Flyers were posted in local senior citizen centers, libraries and other facilities, letters were sent to Wilf Campus family members and the invitation was published in Wilf’s monthly e-newsletter. The idea for the “Knitting Project” was originally developed by the Association of Jewish Aging Services.

In total, over 110 scarves were crafted, with 40 Wilf Campus residents participating from the Wilentz Senior Residence and Stein Assisted Living Residence.

Most of the community knitters chose to remain anonymous, and family members also contributed their talent to the Knitting Project.

According to Toby Ehrlich, LCSW, ACSW, CALA and Wilf’s Director of Corporate Marketing, Stein Assisted Living residents convened twice a week to knit their scarves and Wilentz Residents met in small groups several times a week and all together once a week.

“One of the residents hadn’t knit in 20 years and was so proud of her accomplishments,” said Ehrlich.

The scarves were distributed during a holiday party on campus on Thursday, December 17, 2015.

Making the scarves conjured up feelings of pride and accomplishment for the residents, all of whom were thrilled to be able to show their gratitude while being creative.

Rhoda August said, “I am glad I can do something for someone else. It is a labor of love.”

Agreeing that it was nice to do something special for the Wilf staff, Isabel Frankel added, “I enjoy knitting myself. It was a group effort and I enjoyed it because I am a knitter.”

“Knitting keeps me busy and occupies my time, so I enjoyed being a part of this project,” chimed in Lillian Worst, who knitted 10 scarves.

“It made me feel good to give them something because the staff is very good and very pleasant,” she said.

Yueliang Zhang said ,“I had a fun time knitting. The other residents enjoyed it too. I feel that it brought everyone closer and I hope we can do this again”

After they received their handmade scarves, staff members expressed their appreciation for being recognized in such a thoughtful way.

“I felt honored and grateful that they spent time in making such a crafty gift for us,” said Terry Bridges of Wilf’s maintenance department.

Hema Modi, LPN added, “It made me feel great and my heart was touched. I am so grateful to know that the residents thought of us in a special way.”

“I felt that it was a nice gesture and I appreciate their thoughtfulness,” said Kashonda Broughton of environmental services.

Kescia Ross of environmental services shared, “I was overwhelmed and excited that the residents did something this thoughtful and nice for the staff.”

“It was special and nice to receive something like this from the residents,” concluded Maria Aviles, environmental services.

Sara Culang, who is one of the members of the Knitting Project committee and the manager of community outreach and volunteer services at Wilf for Stein Hospice, enjoyed learning how to knit for the very first time.

Jackie Cheslow of Colonia, a friend of Wilf Chief Executive Officer Susan Harris, donated a lot of beautiful yarn for the knitting project which went a long way to help residents make as many scarves as they did.

“Our staff works so hard to take care of the older adults here and in the community and this is a very sweet way to give back,” said Harris.

The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living is comprised of Stein Assisted Living, Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood, Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport, and The Foundation at the Wilf Campus. For more information, contact us at (732) 568-1155, info@wilfcampus.org or visit us at www.wilfcampus.org.