Spreading warmth, one hat at a time

By Loribeth Reynolds

Loribeth Reynolds/Collegian - Knitted hats are stacked across from Sharon Eisler, Hutchinson, who looks over a toddler hat before it goes onto the donation pile, at the Elmdale Senior Center.
Loribeth Reynolds/Collegian - Knitted hats are stacked across from Sharon Eisler, Hutchinson, who looks over a toddler hat before it goes onto the donation pile, at the Elmdale Senior Center.

Inside the Parker Student Union, just behind the information desk, various hand-made hats are displayed with a sign that reads, “Free to Students.”

These hats are made with care for Hutchinson Community College students who need to keep warm on cold Kansas days.

Every Wednesday afternoon, a group of about 10 women come together at the Elmdale Senior Center in an effort to spread their warmth.

These women crochet hats, scarves, and afghans to donate to those in need.

Carolyn Parson, an academic advisor for Hutchinson Community College, is a part of this group of women. They are appropriately called, “The Crochet Angels.”

“On a good day, it takes about an hour to complete each hat,” Parson said. “It really is relaxing for me. I crochet every night before I go to bed.”

After their meetings, most of the Crochet Angels plan out the deliveries of their products.

They donate to a number of agencies in town: First Call For Help, New Beginnings, and Heads Start, to name a few.

Teri Weimer, Hutchinson, a Crochet Angel, said her favorite thing about being a part of this group is giving.

“It’s not about recognition at all,” Weimer said. “It’s about knowing you’re helping someone who may or may not be brave enough to ask for help.”

Valgean Junior, Wichita, is thankful for the Crochet Angels’ donated time.

“I really like my hat; it makes my heart smile that someone would take time out of their day to make me a hat,” Junior said.

To date, the Angels have donated upwards of 50 hats to HCC, most of which have a signature pom-pom on the top.

“We really try to pay attention to the colors that are popular with young people,” Parson said. “We have to work primarily with yarn that is donated.”

Yarn can be donated to The Crochet Angels at the Elmdale Senior Center, 400 East Avenue E, Hutchinson, or given to Carolyn Parson. Her office is located inside Parker Student Union.

The group would also like to welcome new volunteers, especially college students.

“This is multi-generational,” Parson said. “We would just love to pass on our skill.”

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