Lorraine Shewbert expects to make 50 winter hats this year for children in need

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Lorraine Shewbert is knitting winter hats to donate to children in need. A Gresham resident decided to use the time on her hands to knit some small comfort for children dealing with traumatic events in her community.

Lorraine Shewbert has been busy this year knitting winter hats that she hopes to donate to kids entering the foster care system.

"Many foster kids go into the system so fast; they only have the clothes on their backs," Shewbert said. "The hats will be something of their own."

The 87-year-old resident of Courtyard Fountains assisted living facility, 1545 S.E. 223rd Ave., chose to make hats because they aren't too difficult to craft, and there is always a need in the community — especially as temperatures drop in the fall and winter.

The hats come in all sizes, colors, designs and are available for both boys and girls. So far, she has knitted 25, using material donated by friends, though she expects to double that number by the end of the year.

"I have more time than anything else, and there is a need," she said.

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Last year, Lorraine Shewbert donated 60 hats to SnowCap Community Charities. Needlework is in Shewbert's DNA, as she comes from a family who crafted clothes, quilts and everything in between. Her sister first taught her in high school, and it is a skill she has continued to follow and refine throughout her life. Shewbert has a photograph of her great grandmother, Mary Lucienda Owenby Eckersley, holding knitting needles, which she thinks may explain where the passion first began.

"It's in our genetic line," Shewbert explained.

During the Afghanistan war, Shewbert made fingerless gloves she sent to soldiers serving overseas, and last year she knitted 60 hats that she donated to SnowCap Community Charities.

This year, she decided to pursue a goal of helping children going through traumatic experiences in the community. But she is still trying to connect with a group that can facilitate her hat donation.

If anyone has ideas for where Shewbert can send her hats, email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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