SIDNEY — Are you someone who knits, crochets or likes to support a good cause?
The Sidney-based Joseph Connection hopes to collect 1,000 knit hats by Oct. 30 for distribution to men, women, teens and children in Mexico.
Run by the Rev. John Geissler, of Sidney, the Joseph Connection is an international ministry that conducts services and fulfills mission projects worldwide and locally operates Agape Distribution, a food bank in Sidney.
“(The hats) will be distributed in northern Mexico,” Geissler said. “It’s a desert area that gets very cold at night. When we go at Christmas, we give them new hats and have a fiesta. It’s a very, very, very poor area. Many of their houses are made out of trash, like extra pallets.”
“Or cardboard. It’s heartbreaking to see,” said his wife, Sharon.
This is the seventh year that the Geisslers will take hats to the region. In the past, area knitters and crocheters have made most of the caps. According to Geissler, many of those volunteers were elderly and are no longer able to help.
“This is the first year we’re behind the 8-ball,” he said. “This year, we don’t have what we usually have. We’ve lost all of our older knitters. Those folks really produced a lot of hats and were wonderful to work with, but they’re not able to.”
Donated hats can be delivered to Agape Distribution, 209 Brooklyn Ave. Donors should mention that the hats are for Mexico. Store-bought hats, as well as handmade hats, will be accepted.
“We do it both ways,” Geissler said. “People who like to knit or crochet, it’s more personal. (The recipients) look at it and know that someone did it for them.”
In the beginning, the couple dropped off the hats for distribution by missionaries. But the missionaries said, “You have to stay. You have to see the kids’ faces when they get hats.”
“We’ll take any hat that is given to us,” Sharon added.
“You can never get over the joy of these folks to get a homemade hat at Christmas,” Geissler added. “But we’ll take store-bought hats, too. It’s like they’re putting love on their head. It’s what Christmas is all about.”
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.