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Posted on Oct 16, 2017

End of an era, beginning of another for Hat Project

The grade-schoolers who once were recipients of the hats are now teenagers knitting their own for a brand-new bunch of little ones. It seems like an appropriate time, says Aida Bound, to hand the reins of the Hat Project to someone else.
The Hat Project, which began in Wenatchee nine years ago and has spread around the state and beyond, has recruited the help of scores of people knitting hats for children of low-income families, including many in Quincy, over the years.
Bound, who started the project, says the different Hat Project groups across the state and beyond can now function independently, without the need of an overall supervisor like herself. That also applies to the Quincy version of the Hat Project, who has found in Bonnie Kniveton a champion for the cause, she added.
“It’s going to sound like sucking up, but Bonnie is like the Hat Project lady extraordinaire,” Bound said.
In the past, Bound and others had to chip in hats for the Quincy area. Now Quincy folks produce enough hats on their own.
“That’s the point,” she said. “Each community working with its own community.”
Wenatchee did help out with hats in 2015 and 2016, Kniveton added.
“This is our first year that we have done it on our own,” Kniveton said.
A longtime social worker from the East Coast, Bound started the Hat Project after moving to Wenatchee and seeing many elderly people at retirement homes and nursing homes “feeling useless,” and with plenty of yarn around.
Nowadays, the Hat Project involves elderly people, but it also involves teenagers in places like Quincy, who knit hats for students in some of the elementary schools. More than 1,500 hats have been delivered to Quincy School District schools in 2017 alone.
The thrill of the new hat has not dissipated over the years – children still love to choose a hat from the collection brought to their school. It is not often they get the chance to have something brand-new of their own choosing. Not surprisingly, hats with Seattle Seahawks colors tend to be quite popular.
Omak, Entiat, Chelan, Wenatchee, Quincy, Leavenworth, Plain – the list of cities and towns expands far beyond Central Washington. The only thing growing faster is the number of hats, quilts and afghans, now in five figures.
“After almost 10 years it’s really hard to stop, but it’s time,” Bound said.
Some of those knitting teenagers were the recipients of the hats not too long ago.
“It’s a cycle now,” she said, her voice breaking and her hand pointing at her heart. “For me, it hits me right there.”
To learn more about Quincy’s Hat Project, contact larbonk@frontier.com. To learn more about the Hat Project in Spanish, contact Eva Hernandez at 509-860-8352.

Sebastian Moraga, qvprsports@gmail.com

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