‘It feels good to donate more than money’

  • Patricia Radway sits with a few of her remaining hats after donating dozens to Warm the Children, and months after initially making them for the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.. Recorder Staff/Joshua Solomon

Recorder Staff
Monday, November 13, 2017

Editor’s note: This is another installment of weekly stories about the Greenfield Recorder’s annual Warm the Children charity. Learn about those who benefit and those who make it happen.

MONTAGUE — Patricia Radway knew she wouldn’t make it down to Washington for the Women’s March last January. But the 90-year-old was looking for a way to contribute.

So she turned to knitting. She began to knit the pink hats that would become synonymous with the march. The thing is, though, she couldn’t stop knitting. Soon enough, the stores had run out of pink yarn, but she had plenty of other colors and had no intention of stopping anytime soon.

“I had bags and bags of yarn, and it doesn’t take much yarn to make something like this,” Radway said, referring to a knitted winter hat.

At a pace of an hour per hat, the prolific knitter — and award-winning quilter — was looking for something to do with all of these hats that began to pile up.

At a family reunion in Boston, relatives were sporting the Radway Special. But Radway needed somewhere else where they might be useful.

Radway’s daughter, Deborah, was looking at the number of hats, too.

“I said, ‘Mom, would you like to do something good with the hats?’” Deborah Radway said. “I thought ‘there’s got to be kids and families that need hats.’”

The answer soon arrived.

“I get The Recorder every morning,” Deborah Radway said, and with it were the stories about Warm the Children. “Oh this is where we can donate the hats!” she said. “I’ve been reading about Warm the Children for like 20 years, and it feels good to donate more than money,” Deborah Radway said. “It feels like it’s like a little part of family.”

The Greenfield Recorder’s Warm the Children drive, an effort to make sure children in Franklin County have the right clothing for the season, is supported by partners Wilson’s Department Store and Community Action, and funded through community donations.

The elder Radway was pleased to connect with Warm the Children. She said she was happy that all of her knitting could help out some children this winter.

“They fit everybody!” Radway said. “And we get cold winters, when you could use a good hat.”

Children are selected by Community Action, a nonprofit that helps support lower-income families. Wilson’s provides clothing racks and purchases the clothing with the donations, and The Recorder, which created the charity locally, spearheads the fundraising efforts. Together, they operate a store over three days in the fall, which this year happened in September. Now The Recorder is encouraging the community to raise money again, for next year’s winter clothes.

The main fundraising drive begins in September with the clothes from last year’s funds given out well ahead of the winter season. One thousand children get about $80 to $100 worth of clothing each, including items like a winter coat, a fleece sweatshirt, underwear, socks and thermal underwear.

The fundraising campaign target endpoint is Dec. 31, although The Recorder accepts donations all year.

How to donate

To donate to Warm the Children, send a check to: Warm the Children, c/o The Recorder, P.O. Box 1367, Greenfield, MA 01302. New clothing may also be dropped at The Greenfield Recorder, at 14 Hope St., any time.

If you would like to publicize information about fundraisers or share a story, call Joshua Solomon at the Greenfield Recorder at 413-772-0261, ext. 264 or by email: jsolomon@recorder.com