“The idea came to me when I woke up one morning in the fall of 2018 with the feeling
that the words ‘Hats for the Homeless’ had just been whispered to me,” recalled Shirley Butler, Project Coordinator for Hats (and Scarfs) for the Homeless at Morgan Park United Methodist Church.
Following that feeling, Butler went to her church and suggested the idea for the Advent Outreach Program. “Keeping in mind that as we are blessed, we should be a blessing to others,” she said. “It seemed perfect for the season.”
The knitters and crocheters in the Morgan Park United Methodist Church congregation were already busy making prayer shawls for the sick and bereaved. How could they be asked to do more? Butler had another idea: ask for help from the community.
People who love to knit and crochet responded to the church’s appeal for volunteer hat and scarf makers. In 2018, the project donated 53 hats and 36 scarfs to the South Suburban PADS and extras to
people living on lower Wacker Drive.
“The recipients were very grateful for the items,” Butler said. It was decided to keep the initiative going.
In 2019the volunteers were able to more than double the donations, giving 103 hats and 105 scarfs to the homeless. The goal for 2020 is to make even more hats and scarfs.
The talented, generous volunteers supply their own materials and designs, and work at home. Anyone who loves to knit or crochet is welcome to participate.
Items for men and women in a variety of patterns and sizes are welcome, and hats and scarfs are also needed.
If possible, the handmade creations should be placed in one-gallon size plastic bags, or larger for a hat and scarf set, however the group will accept donations however they are dropped off.
Because of COVID-19, this year’s collection will be contact free. People are asked to drop off the items by the doors in the church parking lot, 11030 S. Longwood Dr. Drop off times are Thurs., Dec. 10 and Fri., Dec. 11, 2 to 5 p.m., and Sat., Dec. 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If the doors are not open ring the doorbell and someone will come and accept the donation.
“Morgan Park United Methodist Church greatly appreciates the community’s generosity and support of this project,” Butler said. “It warms our hearts to know that we have such loving neighbors.”