Volunteers Warm Heads and Hearts
The 2007-2008 winter was one of the longest and snowiest on record. Three residence of Westover Manor's Project H.A.N.D.S. knitted 172 hats for children in Head Start and Early Head Start. Joann Howard, Head Start Volunteer Coordinator, expressed her thanks, "These ladies made enough winter hats to supply our classroom and send some hats home with children in need. This kind of care for those most in need truly touched our hearts."
Project H.A.N.D.S. (Helping Angels National Donated Support) partners the skills of seniors with organizations that provide services to the homeless or others in need. The Project H.A.N.D.S. program commonly knits or crochets hats, mittens, scarves, blankets and other items for children. The local chapter is based at Westover Manor and has been providing knit-wear to different community organizations for several years.
Westover Manor is one of seventy retirement communities involved in Project H.A.N.D.S., a program affiliated with the Retirement Housing Foundation (RHF). RHF is a non-profit organization of 155 communities in 24 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It provides housing and services to more than 16,000 older adults, economically disadvantaged families and people with disabilities. Westover Manor is one of five RHF facilities in the State of Iowa. RHF is a non-profit organization founded in 1961 by two United Church of Christ clergy and a layman with a vision of providing quality housing and services for seniors.
HACAP Head Start serves more than 700 preschool-aged children in a six-county area. Each fall we make sure our classrooms have available hats, mittens or gloves for outdoor activity. The knit-wear donated by the ladies of Westover Manor helps us ensure that each child enrolled in Head Start keeps warm when they go out to play. The efforts of the local Project H.A.N.D.S. makes Cedar Rapids a better place to be and gives us an example to follow. HACAP applauds the residents of Westover Manor for bringing a little joy and warmth to all of us.