Hats for Homeless

Girl Scout Troop 13 makes more than 80 fleece hats for those in need

Posted: Sunday, November 29, 2009

At least Juneau's homeless will have warm heads this winter. Eleven sixth-grade Girl Scouts recently made more than 80 hats for the homeless as part of their annual community service project.

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Kim Andree / Juneau Empire
Kim Andree / Juneau Empire

"(Many people) can't really afford hats and clothing to stay warm for the winter," said Troop 13 member Morgan Rivest, 11. "So we thought we would help them."

Girl Scout mother Barbara Thurston said Troop 13, comprised of many of the same girls since they were in first grade, has never done this particular project before.

The project was chosen by the troop's Community Service Committee, consisting of Thurston and other mothers, Emily Kane and Catherine Reardon, and their daughters, Helen Thurston, Katherine Kane and Madeline Handley.

"We selected this as a project that really involved the girls' participation (in the sewing), and which met a need in the community," Thurston said. "There are many people in Juneau who don't have enough warm clothing. Making hats is a way to help them out, and is within the sewing skills of 11-year-olds."

In total, 88 fleece hats will go to the Glory Hole and Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies this weekend.

"We had a big pile of fleece, so decided to do the first couple of steps for as many hats as we had material for," Thurston said. "That gave all the girls practice in measuring and cutting, pinning and running the sewing machines."

"It took a really long time to make them," said troop member Madeline Handley, 11. "We learned how to use sewing machines some, which was fun."

The girls participated in the entire hat-making process - cutting out the fabric, sewing, trimming threads, etc. - over three different days, for about 2.5 hour each. Fabric was donated by troop members and Freecycle responders, and purchased from St. Vincent de Paul's and Salvataion Army.

"I hope they've picked up some sewing skills, as well as had an opportunity to work on something useful and to learn to keep working a bit longer, even when they would prefer to stop and play," Thurston said.

In all, the girls hope the hats go to people who can use them and need a hat to stay warm.

"I think the girls are very proud of the fact that they made them, and that they made a lot of them," Thurston said.

• Contact Neighbors editor Kim Andree at kim.andree@juneauempire.com.

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