La Feria Crafter Serving Community Needs Using Her Talent
by Rocio Villalobos
Ruby Wood of La Feria’s VIP RV Park has utilized her crafting talents to give back to the local community. She knits, quilts, and makes jewelry to benefit those in need and helps teach others at her park to help maximize the goods distributed.
“It makes you feel good to do good for others, particularly those that don’t have a lot,” she said. “And I know because I grew up very poor as a child. I was loved, but we didn’t have a lot, and thank goodness my mother could sew.”
Woods comes from Tennessee with her husband, and this is their fourteenth year visiting the Park. When they retired more than 20 years ago, they tried wintering in California, Florida, Arizona, and other warm-weather states, but Texas finally stuck.
“We keep coming back because it’s the best bang for your buck, the weather is agreeable most of the time, and the people are wonderful,” Wood said.
They spent their first two years sightseeing across the Valley, visiting museums and hiking trails and parks but now spend most of their time with activities inside the Park.
For years, Wood has hosted Ruby’s Jewelry Class to teach her neighbors how to make their own handmade items, which they either keep or donate to a local senior day care to use as prizes for bingo.
When making pieces to give away, she keeps certain things in mind, like the ease of putting it on. For instance, rather than a clasp to fasten a bracelet, she’ll use a wire that can wind around the wrist.
“I want the things to be usable for whoever gets it,” she said.
Though she’s been unable to host the class this season, Wood continues the work on her own time. It has also allowed her to focus more on quilted and hand-knit items to give out to a local orphanage, and she will not be stopping any time soon.
During a recent visit to a local flea market, Wood met another knitter who offered to deliver free, spare yarn to her.
“I was expecting maybe a trash bag full,” Wood said. “When she came by, the back of her SUV was stacked to the roof. I distributed some between other people knitting for charity, and the belly of my fifth wheel is still full.”
So far this season, she’s made socks and caps for 20 girls, 20 boys, and 10 babies.
“It’s just a pleasure to do,” Wood said. “And doing this serves several purposes; it keeps my hands busy, keeps my mind busy, and keeps me out of the pantry and refrigerator so my clothes still fit.”