When Shirley Halverson of Winter Haven, Fla., began to crochet nearly 35 years ago, little did she know at that time how far-reaching her new hobby would become. Shirley had no plans to make anything large of it, other than to enjoy it as a hobby. She quickly learned the craft, and she made afghans, sweaters, and other items.
Through the years, she gave the items to family and friends. Now she desires to expand the ability to make and send crocheted sweaters to others.
“I enjoy crocheting as a hobby, but I also see it as a way to help less-fortunate people keep warm,” Shirley said. She believes the Lord showed her the need for the sweaters years ago. Shirley and her husband, Gary, served as missionaries to Guatemala for more than 10 years. While there, she taught many in the country to crochet.
A member of Winter Haven Church of God, Shirley enjoys using this talent to help people. Shirley’s hobby has grown into a ministry as a result of her passion for God and to be a blessing to those in need. She invites others to help her in this mission.
“The Lord game me the desire and talent to bless others with sweaters,” Shirley said. “Finding people who need them isn’t a challenge. Getting the materials for the sweaters and then sending them are challenges,” she added.
Shirley’s first mission to provide a sweater to someone in need was about two years ago. She sent the sweater to a child she supports monthly through Child Fund International in Honduras. This ignited a desire in her to bless others with the hand made items. In December last year, Shirley’s desire to expand the project deepened after she sent eight sweaters to Honduras for the girl’s family. She also sent sweaters to Guatemala.
Shirley makes infant, children’s, and adult sizes. She has 10 more sweaters completed, and is waiting to see where she can send them.
“I would like to get some of the sweaters to the people in Japan because of the recent disasters there,” Shirley said. Her heart was deeply touched by scenes of how cold it is there right now.