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Hats off to the hat makers

Two volunteers knit hats to give to patients at Horizon’s James Valley Community Health Center

(L/R) Carol Whitted and Terrie Lynne Kjetland (Lynne) with several of the hats that they have made for the James Valley CHC patients.

(L/R) Carol Whitted and Terrie Lynne Kjetland (Lynne) with several of the hats that they have made for the James Valley CHC patients.

Recently, two local ladies began making a difference for the patients at the Horizon Health Care, Inc. (Horizon) James Valley Community Health Center (CHC), one hat at a time.

Terrie Lynne Kjetland (Lynne) of Wessington and Carol Whitted of Huron recently began knitting hats from donated yarn to give to all patients at Horizon that came to the clinic without a hat.

It all began when the clinic began receiving yarn for another lady who decided to make stocking hats for patients; however, when they lost contact with the individual, they were left with a large box of yarn just sitting in their clinic.

One day, Lynne came in for an appointment and saw the box of yarn and asked an employee what they were doing with it. Upon learning that it was no longer being utilized, Lynne offered to make hats for any patients in need of a hat, at no cost.

This is when Lynne decided to ask her new friend Carol if she would like to help with the project, even though Carol had tried knitting before and wasn’t successful. However, with a teacher like Lynne, Carol quickly learned and began to enjoy the busy work.

The knitting is not only benefitting the patients, but Carol as well. Since Carol began knitting hats for the patients, her smoking habit has decreased from a pack a day to two cigarettes a day!

“We are killing two birds with one stone!” said Lynne.

The two ladies both agree that the job is rewarding and fulfilling.

“We came into the clinic one day and noticed that there was a teenage boy without a hat. We offered him a hat assuming he would say no, but he readily took it.” said Lynne. “It is so fulfilling to see the look on the kids’ and parents’ faces when they get a new hat.”

In just a month’s time, the two ladies have made over 50 hats for the patients, and are planning on continuing as more yarn is donated.

With the yarn, they make hats for newborns and up. They leave the bottom of the hat unhemmed so that the individual can style it anyway they want and so that it stretches to fit any size. As more yarn gets donated, the women plan on making scarves so the patient can choose if they would like a scarf or a hat.

­Anyone can come to the clinic to receive a hat, regardless of income.

“We want to give any patient a hat that needs one” said Carol. “If you come to the clinic not wearing one, we want you to leave with one on.”

Anyone interested in donating yarn to help Carol and Lynne continue making hats and scarves for patients may take their donation to the James Valley CHC at 1000 18th Street SW, Suite 27 (in the Huron Mall). The clinic is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.

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