Friday, January 30, 2015

Summary of 2014

It was five years ago that knitters gathered in the library of a neighborhood church and launched the Hats for the Homeless project; word quickly spread to knitters in our community and 300 hats were collected. Read on about the amazing number of donations we received this year. We now have hats coming in from all across the country.

 Early December volunteers gathered at Steven B’s yarn shop in Minneapolis to count and to sort hats to get ready for distribution. We counted, we sorted, we made huge piles of hats for men, women, and children – 1700 hats had been knit along with 250 scarves. This was early December and within the next two weeks 800 more hats arrived along with 140 scarves! We ended up collecting 2500 hats and close to 400 scarves.

With this amazing number of hats and scarves, we were able to donate to 26 agencies and schools in our community that serve the homeless and those marginally housed. As we delivered the goods to these agencies, we talked to the people in charge and asked for feedback and how we could best serve their needs. Based on this information, we are making some changes for 2015.

Changes for 2015

  • With the early onset of cold weather in 2014, we have decided to deliver hats and scarves to the agencies in late October—early November so that they are prepared when the cold weather hits.
  • After reading recent articles in the newspaper about homeless statistics in our community and talking with school social workers, we will be collecting hats for school aged kids and delivering them to schools serving a high population of homeless kids.
  • This year for the first time, homeless people standing in line on a bitter cold day waiting for a hot lunch at Mary’s Place, asked for scarves. We need more scarves.
A warm thanks to all the knitters in our community and across the country who knit for the project and in turn tell their friends about the project. People often ask me how many people are knitting for the project…my answer, “I don’t know…but many.” When knitting hats and scarves, keep in mind we are going after WARMTH….hats that are long enough to cover the ears and have a wide enough cuff to double up for extra protection and scarves should be about 8 inches wide and at least 42 inches long.
Barbara Melom


  1. This is my first time commenting on a blog and I suppose there is a learning curve... nonetheless, I have started a similar project thru the non-profit that I volunteer with in Central Kentucky. I have been crocheting for years and see homelessness increasing exponentially. Do you have any sage words or advice?

  2. I am doing a post on my website about knitting for the homeless. I have some questions - was hoping I could contact someone. Do not see a contact page nor an email address. I would like to include you in my post.
    Thank you,
    Here is mine:

  3. Hey my husband and. I are wanting to give backpacks away with a hat gloves .blanket flashlight and a $5 gift card to McDonald's for Christmas but needing help also. A little doll or a car for the boys and girls my email is .....if you would get back with me thanks