We all know that with Chicago’s brutal winters, it’s crucial to keep every inch of your body covered.
One Rogers Park resident is making it her mission to help migrants — many of whom are experiencing cold weather for the first time — by giving them knitted and crocheted winter hats. She reached out to local and online crafting groups asking if others wanted to do the same.
As of mid-January, Margie Chan has received more than 1,800 hats from all over the country — including Hawaii and California. She dubbed her initiative “500 Hats for Refugees” when it first launched in September, though she has received far more than that by now.
“I reached out to everybody I could and said, ‘This is what I’m doing if you would like to make a hat,’” Chan said. “They all wanted to help.”
She said her main hope, as a daughter of refugees herself, is to make migrants feel welcome.
Chan has been hosting pop-ups known as “Hats & Hot Chocolate” at public libraries and schools to reach migrants and their families.
“They always ask if I make all these,” Chan said. “I say no. In fact, I’m still working on my first hat for this project because I’ve been spending all my time administering it and taking out on the road.”
Chan said a local Venezuelan migrant wanted to help and knitted more than 50 hats for the cause.
If you want more information on this initiative, Chan can be reached at [email protected].