Thomas Jefferson graduation project turns into team effort
Generosity begets generosity.
When Lexi Stoicovy selected knitting winter scarves and giving them away for her graduation project, she never could have dreamed that others would join in her efforts.
A Thomas Jefferson High School junior, Lexi took her needlecraft skills to heart. Her mother, a family and consumer science teacher at the high school, had taught her the knit/purl rhythm, and the two spent a few hours every week since summer turning out neckwear — all to be given to Sisters Place in Clairton, a housing community that assists homeless, single-parent families.
“We do a lot of crafty things together,” the 16-year-old said of her mom, who also taught her to sew. “We're DIY-ers.”
Ultimately, the two created 35 scarves and were able to connect with their beneficiaries through the efforts of Tina Centinaro, faith formation director at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Baldwin Borough, Lexi's family church.
“She helped me pick them,” said Lexi, delighted she could help local people who might live there.
A flyer available to the St. Elizabeth congregation helped supply Lexi with donations of yarn and additional scarves. All the while, the Stoicovy women of Jefferson Hills knitted.
“It's hard to be at home and relax with two younger siblings,” she said. “Knitting is so relaxing. I can watch a movie or knit with my eyes closed.”
She even found extra time during study halls or when not taking notes in classes to finish yet another piece.
“I worked on more than one scarf at a time,” she said. “I did the bulky one at home and took the other one in my purse.”
At her church, she met with the women of the prayer shawl ministry who helped her make more scarves, not only for women, but for children and men.
“One scarf turned into five and then 20 and 40,” she said.
Neighbors and friends pitched in, too. Soon, the total grew to 85.
“My goal was 100,” Lexi said. “I would absolutely love to make it.”
In early January, an article in The Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper about the young woman's efforts encouraged more giving. Money was donated, as well as gloves and scarves. Local students decided to add hats to make an even warmer ensemble.
Centinaro, who has known Lexi since the first grade, was able to give her more than good news as project presentation day at the high school neared. At the rate of about two calls a week, the director said, others from Catholic parishes offered to support the scarf project.
Crafters from St. Kilian's in Mars joined the cause, as did those from St. Blaze parish in Midland. Random people also stepped up to keep their idle hands busy. More students volunteered to create fleece scarves. And the project grew. About 150 unplanned-for scarves will be coming Lexi's way.
“I'm so proud of what it has become,” she said. “I hope this catches on. Helping others is so important.”
From the beginning, Centinaro was fully supportive of the teen's altruism.
“This was an outpouring of youthfulness and care. After you talk to Lexi, it's like you met a daisy.”
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police chief settlement, legal fees to cost Brentwood more than $400K
- Officials pressed for decision on Brentwood borough building
- Grant will help pay for school resource officer at Pleasant Hills schools
- Talks continue for new Brentwood EMS contract
- Baldwin-Whitehall school board president sets new rules
- Final Brentwood budget approved
- Pleasant Hills council OKs tax hike, fee changes