I live in an absolutely amazing community with a huge heart! When there is a need, someone steps up and initiates a project. In this case it was two women, both passionate about giving to the community. One was heavily involved with the local food bank, and the other has a heart of gold who has been making lap blankets through the years for the nursing home. Another friend was making hats on a loom. They decided to make hats for children attending the lower grades of our local elementary schools.
Now in the third winter, this project has evolved to include children attending our Head Start program, Veterans that need them at the VA Office, cancer patients, and patients of local home health agencies, and a few hats were left with the Sheriff’s Office to give out as needed. Plus red baby/preemie hats for newborns were made for the American Heart Association, who will distribute the tiny little red hats to hospitals in our state during the month of February.
Two women became a group…
The idea was shared among friends and others wanted to learn and participate in making hats. Most of the hat-makers use a loom, while a few others knit or crochet hats. It’s all a matter of preference. Many one-on-one lessons have been given. A couple of classes were held, with more experienced “loomers” assisting the newbies while the leader gave instructions.
There are numerous brands of looms available on the market and you can easily find them online, or in craft stores, Walmart, etc. These pictures show a couple of the loom sets people in our group are using.
The pegs on the Light Weight Yarn loom set are closer together, so it takes a little longer to make a hat. Most of our “loomers” use the other set. Bulky yarn works up beautifully on the looms with the wider spaced pegs. Most of the time with thinner yarns, we have to use double strands of yarn.
These sets have everything you need to get started, except for the yarn. Instructions are included in the box, but we found You-Tube videos helpful too. It doesn’t take long to learn the process. Unlike knitting or crocheting, you don’t need to count stitches. Most of us make hats while we watch TV in the evenings with our families.
One of our dear friends, and a major contributor to the hat project, shared this photo showing her handiwork done while snowed in at home for several days. This a wonderful sampling of hats, showing different styles and color combinations.
Gathering of the hats…
It’s a fairly small group of 35 or so members. Not all make hats though. Some people contribute to the project by donating yarn. Some make more hats than others. But that’s ok. We all do what we can, when we can. When the date is set for everyone to bring their hats in for counting, it’s quite impressive to see them all covering the tables.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Helen Keller
Remember that quote? It’s so true! As people come in to drop off their beautiful hats, a few volunteers organize the hats. Afterwards, the hats are boxed up for each school or organization for distribution. We are filled with joy knowing that so many will have warm heads through the winter.
859 hats have been delivered so far this winter season.
Eight hundred fifty nine!
Every hat has been made with love. What started as a simple act from the heart, has snowballed into a wonderful service project. This group has received many beautiful Thank You notes, and everyone is appreciated. But it’s the smiles on the children’s faces that warms our hearts the most. The gratefulness of the Veterans. The appreciation of home-bound patients that suffer from the cold and sometimes, a hat is the only Christmas gift they receive. Can’t beat that for a warm fuzzy feeling!
Do you participate in a group service project in your community, or know of one? Let me know in the comments below.