Woman crochets hats for the city’s homeless

By Elise Mckeown Skolnick

Coat donations are fairly common, but hat donations are welcome, too.

YOUNGSTOWN — Since Thanksgiving, Patti Adams has spent her free time crocheting.

Every time she had a few minutes, even on breaks at her job, she worked brightly colored yarn into hats — tiny infant hats, children’s hats and larger adult hats.

“I would just take out my hooks and start going to town,” Adams said.

Her goal? To provide some warmth for the homeless who look to the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley for help.

Ultimately, Adams of Hubbard, created 25 hats. She delivered them to the Rescue Mission Wednesday.

“Wow, these are nice. They seem like they will be very, very warm,” said Ron Starcher, director of client services.

A postal carrier in Youngstown, Adams appreciates the warmth hats provide on her rounds. She also loves the hobby she learned when she about 10.

“When I go home at night [crocheting is] all I like to do,” she said. “So I was thinking maybe it would be nice to make some hats, keep people’s heads warm, help out a little bit.”

Many of those who use the Rescue Mission’s services spend a lot of time outdoors, noted Starcher.

“We go through quite a lot of hats, actually,” he said. “Even though they stay here in the shelter, we find a lot of our clients are out and about during the daytime. They have appointments they have to get to, and it just makes things that much easier to deal with.”

Coat drives help out with that type of outerwear, he said, but hats, gloves and scarves are something people don’t always think about.

But those items can keep people from freezing, he said.

Rescue Mission workers are grateful for donations such as the hats Adams made.

“We tell people whatever you need in your home, we need in our home, only multiplied many times over, so hats are a wonderful thing,” Starcher said. “They’ll never go to waste, that’s for sure.”

Adams already is planning to make more hats for next year, something that doesn’t surprise her mother, Theresa Adams.

“She does so many things for different people, and this is just a minute part of her loving and big heart,” said Theresa Adams.

“I hope it helps out a little bit,” Patti Adams said. “I just wish I had started earlier and it could have been more, but it’ll be bigger next year.”

She hopes to enlist the help of co-workers, and her mom plans to lend a hand, as well.

“Whenever she wants to do something like this, I’m willing to help her,” Theresa Adams said. “She has the ideas, and I just try to help her put it in place.”

The Rescue Mission houses between 70 and 80 children and adults at its Martin Luther King Boulevard facility. They also provide three meals a day to the public.

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