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Home : Community : Charity Connection : Stories : Learn to knit FREE if you donate 1 hat project

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Caring and Sharing

While so many of us love making things for ourselves and our families, many in the Lion community go further, creating for those in need. Join us in this section and be touched by these true stories of caring and sharing submitted by Lion Brand readers.

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Learn to knit FREE if you donate 1 hat project

Many years ago, Mary Locke of Mission, KS owned her own kntting shop. For 20+ years she taught people to knit and sold yarn and other necessary items for this craft.
She was widowed about 4 years ago and then the city was wanting to purchase her property. The time seemed right to sell but this left Mary with lots of free time. I had know Mary many years ago when our boys were in cub scouts.
Now I was the President of local nonprofit group who each year for the past 30 years, has given new items to qualified "welfare" clients. One of the free items they receive is a knitted hat and gloves or scarf. We needed more knitters than our current chairperson and her group could produce.
We serve approximately 9,000 clients each year in December.They receive food, an age appropiate gift, an article of clothing, personal care items ALL OF WHICH ARE NEW!
I asked Mary if she would like to be a part of our group, the Johnson County Christmas Bureau?
She was eager to have a "new location/home" for some of her knitters that wanted to continue to meet and help others. In Dec. of 2005, they started meeting in our donated office space. After several months they outgrew the space and a local church offered them a nice room and it was handicap accessible also. The group continues to meet, have fun, make hats and feel they are helping many people in need.
We have a website which a high school senior maintains each year for us.
In 1960 a local police department asked the American Association of University Women to match donors and recepients at Christmas time. The group, actually one person did this until 1978 and it became too large for one person to match 500 families with donors. We became a registered non-profit group and asked others to help us.
Each year we continue to have approximately 40 year round volunteers raise money and purchase new items to distribute in December.
We have about 3,000 volunteers who help during a 4 week period and then the SHOP is open for 8 days to have a family member make the selections at their set appointment time.
Gwen Howard, past president, current fundraiser and publicity chair

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