Now in its fourth year, the annual Fairfax County Senior Centers’ Winter Warming Service Project collects new or handmade hats, gloves, mittens and scarves for adults, children and infants in Fairfax County. Donated items are given to local nonprofit organizations including Cornerstones, ShelterHouse and HumanKind Foster Care. These community partners distribute the items to the communities they serve, including adults and families experiencing homelessness. Donations of new or handmade items and yarn can be made now through Jan. 6 at all 14 NCS Senior Centers in Fairfax County; look for the donation box in the entry/lobby.
In addition to collecting donations, senior center staff and participants knit items for the drive. Some NCS senior centers provide loom knitting, crochet and knitting classes to teach the skill while building social groups and community inclusion among members. Classes use yarn donated from the community. More than 2,000 items were collected for last year’s drive; homemade donations from Senior Center members, staff and community partners accounted for 80 percent of all hat donations in 2021-22.