By Ukee Washington

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some local senior citizens are turning their free time into free help for charity. It all started with a volunteer at an Elkins Park synagogue. She wanted to give senior citizens a place to socialize. Now the eight members are paying it forward.

You don’t have to be a great knitter to be a nifty knitter. The Nifty Knitters is a group started by Gail Rosenberg.

“I think many of the older adults are very lonely and isolated, and I think the opportunity to be with other people is key,” said Rosenberg.

The Nifty Knitters enjoy the company and the conversation, but they say what they really love is knitting for charity.

“It gives you a good feeling to know while you’re taking each stitch, what it’s for,” said Joanne Beck.

Many say they’ve knitted enough for themselves in their lives. “Many of these people have been knitting for years. They don’t want anything, their grandchildren don’t want anything, and they also would like to give back to the community,” Rosenberg said.

The blankets and hats are destined to be donated to Abington Hospital and other organizations.

“I love it!” said knitter Bernice Fingrutd. “It’s doing something worthwhile.”

“They do such beautiful things,” said Estelle Bell. “I said ‘I want a boy’ because a whole outfit over there for a boy is just gorgeous.”

In their first year, The Nifty Knitters donated more than 40 handmade items and received gratitude in return. They would love more members, but you don’t have to be a knitter to help.

“We always need donated yarn. Some projects require washable yarn,” said Beck.

“All of our efforts will go forward to someone who can really use them,” said Betty Perlmutter.

The Nifty Knitters plan to expand to helping older children and adults.

People who want to contact The Nifty Knitters can email Joanne Beck at the Klein Active Adult Center office at Adath Jeshurun at

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