by Becky Haworth
Special to The Leaven
LENEXA — From newborns to veterans, hospice patients and more, the Trinity Threaders have Greater Kansas City covered — literally.
In 2008, Ann Piette, Pat Wineland, Linda Moyer and Fran Mulligan formed a unique ministry at Holy Trinity Church in Lenexa. Dubbed the “Trinity Threaders” by Piette’s husband George, a group was formed of women, men and children who sew, quilt, knit, craft and crochet together several times monthly for those in need.
While the majority of the Trinity Threaders’ creations, said Piette, benefit people who are sick, elderly, orphaned and otherwise in need, some are used for fundraisers and other community events.
Most of the Threaders’ labor benefits Holy Trinity parishioners, but the group also serves people at the Veterans of Foreign Wars, nursing homes, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Catholic Charities, Nativity House, the Johnson County Christmas Bureau and more.
“Once you get involved in this type of work, the names of needy places just seem to happen,” said Piette. “It started out small, and the work of the Lord has just boomeranged. It’s just been wonderful.”
Among the group’s many creations are prayer quilts that the Threaders pray over as they work and then have blessed by a parish priest (one of the “Fab Four,” as they’re called) or deacon prior to gifting. The group has made more than 1,000 of these quilts to date.
“They have brought comfort to a lot of people,” said Piette.
Holy Trinity parishioner Mary Kay Scanlon said the group’s impact on the public was obvious after two people in her life received prayer quilts from the Trinity Threaders.
“Neither are Catholic, but I cannot tell you how much it meant to them,” she said.
Founded by the Daughters of Isabella of the parish, the ministry is open to Christian men, women and youth of all ages. According to Piette, most of the group’s 50-75 members are adult women, but others come from other parishes and denominations.
As the ministry gained members — from both within Holy Trinity, where the group began and still meets, and then other Christians interested in serving — the number of organizations it serves grew rapidly.
Generous donations of fabric and money provide plenty of materials for the Threaders, who meet a couple times a month. Many people work extensively on their own time and bring their creations to the group upon completion to deliver to those in need.
The Threaders create wheelchair and walker bags, blankets, afghans, garments, quilts, pillowcases and more for everyone from orphan children to veterans, elderly citizens and animal shelters.
“We’ve been kind of busy, and we don’t let anything go to waste,” Piette said.
Crafters typically choose their own patterns, allowing people with various skill levels to participate in the group.
While some members have more experience or expertise than others, the Trinity Threaders all work hard, crafting items for thankful recipients. In the few short years since the Threaders’ inception, the group has benefited thousands of people on both the creating and receiving ends of the ministry. Threaders’ members, Piette said, find spirituality, recreation and comfort in the work.
“It’s been recreation, but also companionship,” she explained. “I get a little choked up when I talk about it, because I had no idea that it would help so many people.
“My husband and I are from a military background, and we’ve moved around and lived with many, many types of people. So I have to say, this group — they help support one another, too. We get together and pray for one another and pray for their relatives — anyone who needs support.”
Although making quilts and other handcrafted items can be quite challenging, Piette said it’s well worth the effort.
“It’s been a labor of love for us,” she added.