Want to know why I'm doing this?

It was just a year ago when I had the dream that began this chapter of my life. It was a poignant picture of how my life was to be lived from here on out. In short, I was being led to get out of my own world and reach out to the outside world. What that meant in practical terms was still a mystery, but I began praying about it and dreaming more and more until it became clear.  I am not one to get messages in my dreams like this, but for some reason God chose this method this time.  It was actually during sleepless nights, laying there praying, that I became clear about my mission. At least for the immediate future.

Last year, just before Christmas, it snowed in Front Royal. I always pray for a white Christmas, so I should have been overjoyed with this gift. But, what seemed to be a gift to me was clearly not a gift for everyone. I woke up in the middle of the night that first day of snow worrying about the homeless people in my town. Mind you, I had never given this a serious thought before. It's not that I had no compassion for the homeless previously, I just didn't see myself serving in that field. I prayed for them to be warm. I prayed for them to be safe. And I prayed for them to survive the cold.

It was quite some time before I could get any confirmation that we even had a homeless problem in our community. A local police officer said, "We don't have a homeless problem here. Folks just move in with their families when they run into trouble. Yes, I know about the 4 who live in their cars, but they won't go to the next town where they can find shelter and 2 of them were indoors and warm last night. I know; we had them." I didn't believe him.

After a long search for the truth, I've been blessed with opportunities to help the homeless in my community, and believe me, there are way more than four. One such opportunity came up when a homeless shelter I'm involved with was trying to think of ways to raise money and awareness at the fall festival. I felt that God was leading me to knit a hat a day until the festival (about 30 days away) and to sell them for donations to our charity. The day of the festival was unseasonably warm with a high of 82. Hmmmm....maybe it wasn't God talking to me.... So, I asked Him to give me a sign. If this was His plan, and if I should continue with the hat a day campaign for next year's festival, then give us a good day. Well, not only did they buy my hats, they began to buy our props when the hats ran low! We made over $1,000.00!

So, guess what I'm doing. You got it. Knitting 365 hats in one year for the next fall festival! I'm bloggin about it because I would like to inspire YOU to do it too. Wouldn't it be great if people in communities all across America began knitting hats to raise money and awareness of the homeless problem that seems to be growing in these difficult economic times? You could knit a hat a day, or a hat a week, or even one a month, for the homeless charity in your neighborhood.

My hats are knitted in 100% wool and then felted. As I go along, I'll share some of my patterns and design ideas. I'd love to hear yours as well! Please let me know if you decide to do this in your town. Let's knit together!!!