HAVERHILL — Tucked inside every hat that Kay Poole knits is a special note of thanks.
It’s her way of telling men and women in the military who receive her heartfelt gift how much she appreciates their service to our country.
”Please know that wherever you are, what you are doing for America is greatly appreciated,” her note reads. “Hope this hat, made for a true hero, keeps you warm, and my prayers keep you safe. May God bless you and bring you home soon.”
Poole signs each note, “From a great-grandmother in Haverhill, Mass., who cares.”
Like elves in Santa’s workshop, Poole, along with members of a knitting group at the Citizens Center, gather on Mondays to make hats, mittens, scarves, blankets and other comforting items for children and adults in the community and in the military. They do this year round, but during the holiday season they rev up their efforts.
”They do it while they are chatting and having a great time,” said Kathy Bresnahan, Council on Aging activities coordinator. “A lot of it is camaraderie, as some of them live alone and this is a social outlet for them. It’s really a win-win. It makes them feel great and it makes for a toasty winter for those in need.”
”I knit all the time and probably do four or five a week,” said Poole, who is 81. “My grandchildren call me the hat lady.”
Poole began knitting hats for members of the military several years ago and recently finished knitting her 285th hat for members of the armed forces. Other than taking a break during the summer, she knits year round.
”I enjoy doing it and feel that it’s very little compared to the great sacrifice they are making,” Poole said of those in the military. “The thing I’m most proud of are my hats for the military. We can’t forget them.”