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Hats off to the Hudson community for their support

Karen Rickard (left) and Krista Cleary of Our Neighbor’s Place in River Falls received a supply of hats and scarves as part of The Knit a Difference project. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Schmidt1 / 4
Bonnie Felland, a volunteer at Operation HELP, models some of the hats and scarves that were donated from the Knit a Difference project. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Schmidt2 / 4
Students at Hudson’s YMCA preschool show off their new hats as part of the hat distribution from the “Knit a Difference” project. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Schmidt3 / 4
Committee members (from left to right): Amanda Schutte, Cindy Leonard and Julie Johnson show off their knitting skills at the Casting On party at First Presbyterian Church of Hudson. Photo courtesy of Jeanne Schmidt4 / 4

The "Knit a Difference ... and Crochet Too" project was an overwhelming success. With a grant from Thrivent Financial, the At Risk Youth Resource Committee of Hudson started the Knit a Difference project in October 2017.

With the grant money, over 100 skeins of yarn were purchased. Knitters and those who crochet were contacted through the churches and an article in the Hudson Star Observer. The yarn was picked up and the knitting and crocheting of hats and scarves for the homeless and at risk began. As part of Youth Homelessness Awareness Month, there was a "Casting On" party at First Presbyterian Church in November where over 35 people came together to work on their projects. Some even came to learn how to knit or refresh their knitting skills.

Almost 500 hats and scarves have been donated to Grace Place, Positive Alternatives, Operation HELP, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Our Neighbor's Place, YMCA, the Hudson and North Hudson Police Departments, and several of the elementary schools in Hudson.

Even though the project unofficially ended in December, hats and scarves continue to come in. There is a need and the winter wear continues to be handed out to the homeless and at risk. The At Risk Youth Resource Committee of Hudson plans to repeat the project again this fall.