A Community Project that brings Joy and Unity of Christmas
By: Grecia Romero
DORAL, FL – Last Sunday, December 1st, City of Doral unveiled its first knitted Christmas Tree ever made in the City.
This beautiful community project was created by more than 50 people, many of whom had no previous experience in knitting, and yet they set themselves the task of learning this art with dedication and effort, to make the Tree a reality.
The Idea and its Purpose
Carolina Piernavieja and María Alejandra Moreno organized the project. Actively involved in the community, both were inspired to do this project by looking for ideas to beautify a street adopted by the Girl Scouts in Doral.
“We found the image of the Tree when we searched for projects on the internet that could be done in the street adopted by the Troop. Although at that time it was not what we were looking for, I was taken by this idea of the Christmas Tree. Because of the dimensions of the work, many people would be needed to make this possible,” says Piernavieja.
Carolina and María Alejandra founded a knitting group at the beginning of 2019, which they called “Needles”, and based on the experience they got from that; they decided to take the idea of the Tree to the City.
Its purpose was to “connect the community with a centenary art that might have been forgotten,” and thus promoting an activity in which people of all ages could participate.
The project was well-received, and in partnership between the City of Doral and Girl Scouts Troop 552, the invitation was extended to the entire community to participate in a series of four Holiday Knitting Workshops in October and November, which included free materials, and teaching instruction.
A True Community Project
The response to the workshops was immediate and eye-catching, with 20 to 25 people attending each session. Even friends and family of participants living outside of Miami were motivated to participate and sent their knitted pieces from Texas, other locations in Florida, and even other countries such as Peru and Spain.
As its organizers explain, “Knitting is an art which requires concentration and patience,” and thus, it became evident with the level of commitment and hard work of its participants who dedicated approximately 250 hours of work to finalize the Tree.
But the community effect of sharing teamwork was an even more enriching experience, as Carolina recounts: “There were participants who, after two weeks, returned happy and proud of the achievement of their little knitted square. We can certainly learn many things on the internet, but the thought that we will meet with other people to share and practice what was learned is a great incentive, and motivates people to take more challenges in the future.”
A unique aspect of the workshops was that, far from being directed by a single person, knowledge was passed from one person to another, which created a very satisfying atmosphere of fellowship and mutual collaboration.
In addition, this project brought together very different women in a harmonious and unique way, as María Alejandra relates: “Something beautiful about the project is that women of all ages, religions, and cultures were encouraged to share the skill and create a product of their hands. There were girls, ladies, housewives, professionals, grandmothers, single women, mothers, and I think even a policewoman!”
As with each Scout activity, the last knitting workshop ended with a ‘Friendship Circle’, in which the participants held hands and shared what they liked best about the experience.
Opening Ceremony and Exhibition
The premiere of the Tree was a joyful and emotional event, says Piernavieja, as several participants had the opportunity to place a decorative ornament on the Tree while expressing their wishes for this Christmas. “It was really moving to see people wishing health, peace, and union for themselves, their families, and the whole world. At that time, the desires for material things were set aside.”
Both organizers feel grateful to the City of Doral for allowing them to make this project a reality for the material contribution and permission to exhibit the work in a public park in the city.
They also extend a special thanks to all participants, friends, and family who collaborated by knitting, creating the base of the Tree, transporting it, and assembling the final work.
The Christmas Tree will be on display at Doral Glades Park until the first week of January for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors as a symbol of the love, union, and joy of the Christmas season.
The knitting group “Needles” will resume its activities in January 2020. For more information on dates and events, please call 305-989.2535 or 786-897.1910.