Review will warm hearts and heads

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LONDON, Ohio – “Hats for the Homeless” is a project that warms the heart as well as the head. The hats, which will benefit less fortunate children, will be made Sept. 18-20 by visitors to the 2001 Farm Science Review.

Bridgette Sloan, an Ohio State consumer and textile sciences expert, and Mary Forster, 4-H youth development and consumer sciences associate, with help from 4-H Master Clothing Educators volunteers, will oversee about four sewing machines, at which Review visitors will make mittens and hats for homeless children in Ohio.

No sewing skills needed.

The winter accessories, which will be donated to the Homeless Family Foundation serving Columbus, can be made by anyone with or without sewing experience, said Sloan and Forster.

The hat pattern is for a polar fleece winter hat that fits tight to the head and doubles over the ears for extra warmth. The mittens are an easy pattern and will match the hat’s color.

Hoping to beat last year’s 268, Sloan and Forster are aiming for 300 hats this year. This will be the second year for the booth at the Review, but this will be the first time to add mittens.

Men helped, too.

“Last year it was a big hit for all ages. We had people as young as 5 clear through seniors. It was exciting to see the enthusiasm,” said Forster.

“Husbands came for the heavy machinery, and it gave the wives something to do, and of course the men did it too – that was neat,” said Sloan.

Last year people stood in line, said Sloan. Thanks to donations from Singer business owner Carol Mitchell, located in Graceland Shopping Center, Sloan and Forster are hoping to have a few extra machines this year to help reduce the lines.

Takes only 15 minutes.

“It only takes 15 minutes to make a hat, and for those who have sewing experience, maybe only 8 minutes,” said Sloan. Volunteers with sewing experience are present to walk through the process with anyone, allowing everyone the chance to contribute.

“It’s a positive experience; everyone benefits. You get warm fuzzies making the hats, and during the winter, the children stay warm,” said Sloan.

The colorful hats will be strung and displayed above the booth until the hats are presented to the homeless shelter on the last day of the Review, said Sloan.

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