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Hats for Hope is One Girl's Special Project

Emily Kubin started her own volunteer effort to help the homeless

Grandmothers can be invaluable resources for little girls.

They give them snacks their parents don’t allow, they make impossibly small Barbie clothes and they teach their granddaughters the things they love to do whether it’s making applesauce or calligraphy or knitting.

Emily Kubin’s grandmother taught her to knit when she was 10- or 11-years old and started her on the road to forming her own volunteer organization.

Emily, 17, is a junior at Morristown High School.  She expanded her knitting skills to making hats and made several for family members when she got the idea to make more hats and donate them to the homeless.

She took them to the Church of the Redeemer in Morristown where they were distributed through the soup kitchen.

“I’m part of the Key Club at school,” Emily said. “One of the women from the soup kitchen wanted a teen for their board and she came to us. That’s how I thought of Redeemer.”

She dropped off eight hats and has made some more which she plans on delivering soon. It takes four to five hours to make a hat, but she now has some help from friends of her mother.

“My mom ordered a loom which should cut the time to 45 minutes for each hat.,” Emily said.

Her mother, Jill, has also started a Facebook page, “Emily’s Hats for Hope.” “She’s very supportive, she’s helping my little group get bid,” Emily said of her mother. Her grandmother is also knitting hats for her.

Emily is looking for two things: materials and volunteers.

She has received donations of yarn and a gift card to Michael’s Craft Stores to buy more, but she is looking for more. Gift cards to Michael’s or Wal-Mart are best since the organization doesn’t have a separate bank account so cannot accept checks. “We have a post office box to send donations and gift cards,” Emily said. The address is P. O. Box 133, Whitehouse, NJ 08888. She will even accept store-bought hats or scarves.

Even more important are volunteers, since it does take time to make the hats. Emily hopes to teach her sister, Julia, 11, to use the loom, but she would like to have more knitters as well.

Her high school friends are supportive, but “not many teenagers knit.”

She is determined to keep supplying hats because the homeless population is large and ignored. “If you go to the Green, you’ll always homeless people there.”

In spite of this, the homeless population is largely ignored, she said.

She hasn’t thought of a specific number of hats she’d like to give away, but she would like to expand to other towns, if possible. “I’d like to make it as big as possible.”

As a high school junior, Emily has other things on her mind as well. She hopes to attend nearby Drew University and major in psychology to either become a social worker or psychologist.

She is also a Girl Scout. She earned her Silver Award by working with her younger sister’s troop to raise funds for a group that provides blankets to homeless children.  She is thinking about her Gold Award but isn’t sure the hat project is appropriate because a Gold Award project has to be something that continues after the scout it not longer involved.

Jill Kubin March 09, 2012 at 04:18 AM
This article lists our OLD address in Whitehouse. Please use the new one: PO Box 2374, Morristown, NJ 07962-2374. If anyone has recently used the old address, that is ok. We will still receive the package. :)-Hats For Hope Initiative.
Jill Kubin August 29, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Just to update you-As of late August 2012 Emily has made/collected 2,244 winter hats for the homeless and working poor. She now has 17 "spin-offs" of Emily's Hats For Hope Initiative throughout the United States and in Canada. We will be having a Hat-A-Thon on Sun. Sept 23, 2012 from 11am-6pm at Trillium Yarns, 1007 Mt Kemble Ave, Morristown, NJ. Please come and help us knit, crochet or loom hats for the people living in Tent City in Lakewood, NJ.
Jill April 24, 2013 at 03:30 AM
We have just reached our 6,400th hat! Emily is hoping to get to 7,000 by June 2013. We are always looking for people to help make winter hats for the homeless and working poor. Please visit us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/EmilysHatsForHopeInitiative. Our website is www.EmilysHatsForHopeInitiative.org.

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