Congregation members at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church gave more than 125 handmade hats and scarves to Hastings Family Service as part of their Lay Ministry.
“We knit and we crochet and we have coffee and conversation,” said Jane Youngquist, a member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church.
Youngquist said this is the second year the congregation has made hats and scarves for Hastings Family Service. Every Tuesday in September and October the group gets together to create the winter apparel. Last year, they made about 50 pieces, so she was overwhelmed to see that they had more than doubled their final count from last year’s event.
“I love these projects where it connects people and brings us all together to do good for others,” said Amy Sutton, the resource development director at Hastings Family Service.
Sutton said people typically know Hastings Family Service primarily from the food shelf, but they actually got started by collecting hats, mittens and scarves. One of the founders started collecting winter apparel in her basement when a school official told her students were coming to school inadequately dressed during the winter months.
“I love seeing this because it really is a continuation of who we are and one of the things we try to do at Hastings Family Service is serve the whole person,” Sutton said, “so there’s a lot more than just hunger out there.”
Sutton said she has been seeing a larger homeless population, so making sure Hastings Family Service has enough warm coats, hats, scarves and mittens for the winter season will help. People will need it, she said.
Hastings Family Service plans to use some of the hats and scarves from Our Saviour’s Lutheran in their Rivertown Treasures program. The service offers emergency clothing vouchers four times a year to families and individuals in school district 200.
Youngquist said it is very fulfilling to be able to contribute to what Hastings Family Service provides to the community. It is especially fulfilling to congregation members who are handicapped in any little way.
“You feel like you can’t do very much, but if you can sit and knit or sew, it gives everyone a chance to do something (for those in need),” Youngquist said.
The congregation group plans to do the project as an annual event. Youngquist said she is even hoping they can expand the project.
“Next year are going to add mittens to it and we are also going to add sewers,” Youngquist said.