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Mar 19, 2024

"For it is in giving that we receive." --St. Francis of Assisi

93-Year-Old Grandmother's Secret to a Meaningful Life

When Ioanna Matsouka, 93, took up knitting in the 1990s, she had no idea she'd end up knitting over an estimated 3,000 scarves over the next three decades. At first, she gifted them to friends. As her creations grew in quantity, she began donating them to children's shelters across Greece. Through acquaintances, her warm creations have found their way to children in Bosnia and Ukraine. U.N. refugee agency UNHCR delivered her most recent batch of 70 scarves to a refugee camp near Athens this winter. "Until I die, I will be knitting," Matsouka told Reuters. "It brings me joy to share them." Her daughter Angeliki noted, "The fact that we give them away gives her strength." From her small Athens apartment, Matsouka knits one scarf a day, even with health conditions including impaired vision and trigeminal neuralgia, which involves bouts of severe facial pain. It's worth the effort, though, she explains: "It's the happiness I get from giving."

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