My name is Stephany St. Louis and I am the founder of the #HatsOnDufferin initiative. Let’s have a look at that word a little closer, and you’ll understand a bit about how this all started and why this means so much to me.
Hats, something that most of us don’t think too much about. We were told as children to always remember to put on a hat, lest we catch a cold. Now just as our parents before us, we tell our children the same thing! I have two daughters and I must have said that line a million times over, so naturally when I began to take up crochet, hats were one of the first things I made. Let’s be honest, parents do a lot of waiting around; we wait for dance classes and music lessons, we wait before the hockey game, and after the hockey game, we wait for afterschool pickup, we wait at the theatre – you get the point…. we wait! So, with all this waiting I decided to take up a fun and creative pastime, crochet. So now let’s bridge the gap between bored mom waiting for her children, and poverty awareness! I became aware of a relatively untapped and unknown poverty issue within our beautiful, scenic, seemingly well to do county. After hearing the VP at my daughters’ school talk about the huge need they had for winter clothes, I thought to myself this cannot be an isolated issue. As it turns out, it wasn’t. What I came to realize is, although my girls had a plethora of beautiful crochet hats to choose from in the morning, many children did not. Yes, even within your child’s own school, there are children out in the frigid Canadian winter without a hat to keep warm.
Now on to part two of HatsOnDufferin, which is Dufferin! This is my home, my community, and the place where I have decided to raise my family and build a life together with my husband. In my career working with Headwaters Tourism and the Dufferin Board of Trade I have gotten to know this community in every capacity imaginable. I know what we are capable of, and I know how this community can come together to work on achieving something great.
With all that in mind I started HatsOnDufferin. We are a non-profit organization whose goal is to ensure that every child, person, and family within our community has a hat to keep warm this winter. It is our hope that this initiative will raise awareness to otherwise unknown and unchecked poverty issues that exist within Dufferin County.
HatsOnDufferin plans to donate 150 hats to every school in Dufferin County in recognition of Canada’s 150th anniversary. Once the schools have had the opportunity to distribute hats to children in need of one, the remaining hats will be collected and donated to our community partner organizations with mandates that support poverty reduction in Dufferin.
Visit our website to see all our upcoming events. Craft Happy in Orangeville is accepting donations of completed hats as well as yarn on behalf of the HatsOnDufferin initiative. Please visit their store if you would like to donate. You don’t need to know how to knit or crochet to get involved, all you need is a willingness to help; we will find a job for everyone.
Be sure to like us on Facebook to ensure you’re up to date on all the latest news and happenings for the initiative.
We need yarn, we need hats, but most of all, we need you. Let’s do this Dufferin!
Stephany St. Louis, Founder