Members of RiseBoro’s Brevoort Senior Center in Bed-Stuy are selling crocheted stuffed animals to raise funds for special events and member outings. Led by member, crochet instructor, and artist Maude Davis, the group crochets the toys, called critters, by hand from their homes while the center is closed for construction. On sunny days they meet outside in the courtyard near the center, and Davis is always available to offer expert advice virtually as needed.
“I didn’t stop just because we are closed,” Davis said. “We have to stay busy. If you slow down, it’s like giving up and I can’t do that. I’m always doing something.”
Davis first learned to crochet from her mother, who taught her the basics when she was a child, and “it just came natural after that,” she said.
Each winter, she leads the small but dedicated group of crochet artists in making scarves and hats, which they give away to those in need. One day, the center’s director, Ninoska Medrano, approached her with the idea of making and selling critters to raise funds for member trips and outings. Though she had never made them before, all Davis needed to learn was a simple book of patterns and a little time. She hopes sales from the critters will allow members to travel offsite together for cultural and social activities, something that was a normal part of the member experience before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We used to go to Medieval Times, and a lot of shows in Manhattan,” she recalled. “One year we went on a weeklong trip, and we also went on a daytrip to Washington, DC. We’d like to get back to doing that again.”
To purchase a critter, contact Ninoska Medrano at [email protected] or 347.318.3383. You can also support the fundraiser by donating crochet supplies to the Brevoort Senior Center.