FAIRBORN — Fairborn mom Amanda Szary didn’t think anything of it when she sent a couple of handmade hats with her daughter to Fairborn High School. Hours later, when the hats showed up on the Fairborn City Schools Facebook page, she was surprised.
The district chose to highlight her act of kindness that comes during a particularly difficult winter for many people.
“I’m definitely humbled,” she said. “I was not expecting that.”
The project started based on a casual conversation with school administrators about a possible need for them. Her daughter Lydia, a sophomore at Fairborn, is on an advisory committee with the school district.
“It wasn’t anything other than we were talking and I asked if there was a need for hats,” Szary said. “They said sure, we’ll take them.”
Szary, who currently works from home, has been crocheting since about 2006. She is entirely self-taught and learned the craft by watching YouTube videos, though her grandmother taught her how to knit. Nowadays, she says she always carries a bag of yarn and a crochet hook with her in case she has a spare moment to craft a stitch or two.
Szary had made roughly 15 hats of various sizes throughout the year, some of them adult-sized, others that would likely fit a kindergartner. She said the hats were originally made for a craft show in 2020, but the pandemic cancelled any chance of showing off her creations.
“They’re better off going to someone who could use them,” she said.
Harsh winter weather has hammered the country in the past few weeks, as snowfall set daily records across the United States, including in the Miami Valley.
“I have a roof over my head and food in my refrigerator, and there’s a lot of people who don’t have that,” Szary said. “I know money’s tight for a lot of people, and I want to make sure everyone’s bundled up in this cold weather.”
Any hats not claimed by students will go to the Fairborn FISH food pantry for others who may need them.
Reach London Bishop at 937-502-4532 or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter.