Monday, January 7, 2008

Hats off to homeless

From Vacaville Reporter
By Kimberly K. Fu/Staff Writer


SUISUN CITY - Scissors flew, needles dove and conversation flowed Sunday in a cozy Suisun City shop as children and adults put their talents and their hearts to work crafting hats and scarves for the homeless.

It's a project that business owner Catharine Anderson started 10 years ago as a way to give back to the community.

Together with her sewing team from Kids Can Sew in the Marina Shopping Center, at least 50 polar fleece hats are made each winter and distributed through Mission Solano, a homeless sheltering program in Fairfield.

On Sunday, Anderson's shop bustled with activity as participants worked assembly-line style to finish the snazzy two-seam, fringed hats and matching scarves.

Victoria Rohrer, a 10 1/2 year-old from Vallejo, took a brief respite from sewing to display a pair of pink camouflage pants with ruler-straight seams, a testament to her talent, others said of the shy youngster.

Meanwhile, her younger brother Joe sewed quietly in the background.

Fellow Vallejo youth Brandon Bichler, 9, modeled a spiffy olive-colored jacket boasting a skull design that had taken him "ages" to complete. Then, he hastily explained the day's hat-making process - grab a pre-cut "hat," sew, sew, sew, cut some fringe and voila! - before going back to work.

Up front, Vacaville sisters Kasey and Kayla Kuchinski and Fairfield resident Corrida Carr made quick work of their pieces. All three (21, 18 and 19, respectively) had taken sewing classes at the shop since they were 10 or 11, and all had been with the hats program since its inception.

"It's a way that I can use what I do to help people," Kasey said.

Her sister agreed, adding that the fact that these items are homemade make them more meaningful gifts.

They're also sturdy and warm, Carr pitched in, with a smile. "And I always try to help people when I can."

Within an hour, the group had whipped up 32 hats and shared much more laughter. Having known each other for such a long time, they seemed more a family than just classmates.
Ever tightly-knit, the group promised to be involved with the project, and Kids Can Sew, for years to come.

For more information, visit or call 365-4755.

Kimberly K. Fu can be reached at

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