To Lisa Luckett, founder of Cozmeena Enlightened Living, the Fair Haven-based business is “a metaphor of the beauty and grace my kids and I received after the loss of my husband on 9/11…My children and I have been showered with love and support that continues to this day. Cozmeena is my way of giving back for all we have received.
“I want to share with people tangible, tactile ways to feel better again,” she continues. “Knitting is one of them.”
Described as a “lifestyle brand centered around knitting for those experiencing hardship,” Cozmeena Enlightened Living has expanded its outreach efforts in the local community. This past holiday season, Cozmeena was approached by Cathy Alescio and Marie Noglows, after the Fair Haven residents spent time volunteering at the Asbury Park facility of Covenant House and saw a need to comfort the organization’s homeless, runaway and at-risk youth. More than 30 Cozmeena knitters created “infinity” and straight-fringed scarves for hundreds of children and adults served by Covenant House, and presented the scarf donations to the Covenant House staff on December 11. In addition, the team of knitters created scarves for dozens of people served by the AIDS and homeless shelter The Center in Asbury Park, as well as Mary’s Place by the Sea, the Ocean Grove-based respite center for women undergoing treatment for cancer.
The effort is now being expanded to encourage others in New Jersey to join, and here in 2016 Cozmeena will act as the distribution arm for the seven New Jersey Covenant House programs, with a planned move to the New York programs as the project expands. The organization will serve as a distribution center for knitters and knitting ministries, helping them to organize and connect creators with people in need.
“We’ve had such a great and overwhelming response that we are encouraging everyone to join the effort,” says Luckett. “If you are part of a service or civic group, Cozmeena can set you up to knit for Covenant House or any other organization you have in mind. This is a perfect project for Girl Scout or Boy Scout troops and other youth organizations.
“As each scarf is wrapped around its new owner, they are told ‘you are safe, you are loved, and everything will be okay’,” the Cozmeena founder explains. “Knitting Cozmeena shawls allowed me to take care of myself as I took care of the women who took care of me. Now with the addition of Cozmeena scarves, Cozmeena.com gives people another opportunity to do the same for themselves and those they love.”
All knitting experts and never-before knitters alike are invited to create scarves for those in need, by visiting the website, and purchasing the initial kit for $24 (refills are $12). Each scarf comes with an original, hand-made Cozmeena Pocket Heart button and a signed and numbered Certificate of Authenticity, plus a tag with space for a personal note from the knitter. Included with the kit is an online tutorial that easily teaches knitters how to create the simple scarves.
“Cozmeena Knitting is a community knitting effort,” adds Luckett. “You’re making yourself feel better and filling your heart while caring for and personally connecting to another person.”