Ms. El Reposo Nursing Facility, Carolyn Thigpen, Florence, Age 92

Ms. El Reposo Nursing Facility, Carolyn Thigpen, Florence, Age 92

With every pull of the needle, Carolyn Thigpen knits love into each loop of yarn.

The north Alabama nursing home resident uses her God given talent to send warmth to orphans around the world.

Carolyn has enjoyed knitting for a long time, even teaching a knitting class at the YMCA of the Shoals in Florence, Alabama. About five years ago, her local YMCA began participating in World Vision’s Knit for Kids program. The organization collects sweaters knitted by people across the United States and sends them to orphanages in other countries.

Though she’s lost count, Carolyn has lovingly knitted well over 100 sweaters for Knit for Kids. It takes her about a week to complete one sweater.

“It’s my way of still being able to serve the Lord,” Carolyn said. “I asked Him not to put me on a shelf when I was no longer able to stay at home. I can live in a nursing home, and still be able to serve the Lord by helping others.”

Carolyn is able to share her love of knitting with more people now that she lives at El REposo Nursing Facility in Florence. She started a knitting class and is teaching residents and caregivers. She hopes they’ll soon be able to supply sweaters for Knit for Kids.

“God has given me a whole new ministry to work with. When I was at home, I was going down more each day and really thought it was my time…but God had a different plan. The nursing home (El Reposo) gave me a new purpose, new friends and to never be alone again,” Carolyn added.

“Mrs. Thigpen is a very unique lady,” El Reposo Nursing Facility Activity Director Ginger McFall said. “She always puts others before herself, looks out for and helps other residents including staff. Mrs. Thigpen has brought a light into our home and love to the whole family here at El Reposo Nursing Facility.”

Carolyn will knit another chapter in her life on July 28 when she competes in the Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant. The pageant will be held at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham – The Wynfrey Hotel at 2:00 p.m.

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For more information about the pageant, click here.

Editor’s Note: This is the sixth in a series of stories about the top 10 finalists for the 2014 Ms. Alabama Nursing Home Pageant. On July 22, we’ll post a story about Ms. Florence Nursing & Rehab Margaret Herston.