Portland Woman Brings Mittens, Hope to Children as Temps Drop

Posted Jan. 11, 2017, at 2:18 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 12, 2017, at 5:20 p.m.

PORTLAND, MAINE — With temperatures drastically dropping across Maine, many low-income families and children are in dire need of hats, gloves and coats to protect them from the bitter cold.

One Portland woman has taken up her knitting needles to help meet this need for the children of Lyseth Elementary School. Through a collaboration with Rotary Club of Portland, Joan Sternberg knit more than 100 pairs of mittens for the school, with yarn donated by Rotarians.

Steinberg, has been knitting mittens for the past eight years to donate to local children. It takes her approximately four hours to knit a single pair of mittens, no small amount of time. She has knit about 900 pairs of mittens in total over the course of eight years, averaging more than 100 pairs per year. If you calculate her total hours knitting using the 40-hour work week structure, she has dedicated nearly two years to knitting mittens.

In honor of her work, Portland Rotarians presented Steinberg with a Paul Harris Fellow Award on December 17th, 2016 to commemorate her generosity and annual effort to furnish mittens to children in need, helping to set up donations, and relaying Rotary’s mission and message to the public.

The Paul Harris Fellow recognition acknowledges individuals who have made contributions of $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. Rotarians have a tradition of supporting the Foundation by honoring others. It was established in 1957 to show appreciation for and encourage contributions.

About Rotary International

Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. In more than 160 countries worldwide, approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 30,000 Rotary clubs.

The main objective of Rotary is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians develop community service projects that address many of today’s most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, illiteracy, and violence. They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities and international exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals, and vocational and career development. The Rotary motto is Service Above Self.

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