If you walk into Italian Station on a Sunday between 1 and 4 pm, you’ll undoubtedly find a cluster of people sitting together, laughing. Not unusual to see at a coffee shop, right? But if you look closer, you’ll notice their heads down, their focus sharp, and their hands in a blur of constant repetitive movements. And oh… there is yarn. LOTS of yarn.
Might just seem like a group of friends gathering together to make hats and gossip. And while that’s not wrong, this particular cluster is so much more. Founded by Laura Honsinger in October of 2019, Olga’s Hats is a crochet and knitting meetup group that makes cozy hats and scarves to help our homeless community during the cold weather. Inspired by her Italian grandma Olga, Laura started the group as a way to help the community, teach others a skill, and to socialize with friends.
Grandma Olga was a talented knitter who powered through dozens of hats a year by herself, donating them all to cold weather shelters. Wanting to carry on her grandma’s love of teaching and giving, Laura gathered up all her supplies and started this group, offering to teach anyone interested a useful skill while also supplying all the materials needed to do so. The only thing asked in return is a donation of the final product.
The original goal was to donate a pair of socks for every hat created but that has evolved into collecting all kinds of personal hygiene items, hand warmers, underwear, snacks, water bottles, etc. All donations go to Micah Ecumenical Ministries, the nonprofit organization that runs our local cold weather shelter in Fredericksburg.
As the group has expanded and spring approaches, new ideas for projects have been thrown around. The next project that Olga’s Hats will be focusing on is tiny hats for NICU babies. Members are also encouraged to donate their plastic grocery bags to turn into plastic yarn (or plarn) which can be crocheted into reusable, water-resistant bags or sleeping mats for warmer weather. Other big news is Italian Station owner Anita Crossfield will be accepting item donations for Micah Ministries at the coffee shop!
Join the Facebook group:
every Sunday 1pm – 4pm @ Italian Station – 620 Caroline Street
What to bring: Just yourself! All supplies are provided!
Items for Donation:
deodorant – toothbrushes – toothpaste – tissues – combs – shampoo/conditioner – soap bars
menstrual products – socks – underwear
cracker packs – protein bars – water bottles – brown paper lunch bags