County’s Christmas Spirit program receives 850 knit hats

A group of six local women including (from left) Alicia Zapata, June Long, Melanie Philippsen, Betty Hulley, Mary Lou Smith and Edna Crawford knitted and donated 850 hats to the Wabash County Christmas Spirit program. Photo by Emma Rausch

By Emma Rausch

The Wabash County Christmas Spirit (WCCS) program received 850 knit hats last week from six women who spent all year handcrafting them.

Wabash resident June Long said the group started knitting the first of the year.

“We started in September and we did scarves (which were donated to last year’s program),” Long said. “My grandson, Matt (Dillon), was down there every day last year.

“This year, I didn’t want to do scarves again because I’d rather do hats and so we all decided we were going to do hats.”

The women took the hats to Long’s grandson on Tuesday, Nov. 17, so he could deliver the donations to the WCCS committee.

“I think these women are very generous and we are thrilled to have the knit hats,” wrote committee chair Jennifer McConahay told The Paper of Wabash County. “I can’t imagine how much time they have spent making them.

“(The hats are) a great way to keep kids a little warmer this winter.”
WCCS is still accepting both monetary and item donations, according to McConahay.

“We have donation boxes set around Wabash County for donations,” she said. “We are in need of brand new toys for all ages. We do run out of items for pre-teens and teenagers the fastest.

“We can also use new rolls of wrapping paper and tape. Even though we are not wrapping gifts this year, we would like to be able to send along a couple of rolls of wrapping paper for the parents to use to wrap gifts with.”

The donation boxes are located at Modoc’s Market, Eco Water, Walmart, Big R, Wabash Valley Chrysler Dealership, Wabash County Chamber of Commerce, Parkview Wabash Hospital and Wabash County YMCA.

To date, 883 children have registered for the program and the committee is still welcoming more, according to McConahay.

“During the 2014 Christmas season, we helped 550 families and 1,225 children,” she said. “Registration for assistance is still open to Wabash County (residents) until Dec. 1, 2015.”

Registration is available online at

The committee is also in need of helping hands to assist with the program’s various tasks.

“We will need volunteers starting Nov. 30 at the Phi Delts building (located at) 242 S. Huntington St. Wabash, Ind,” McConahay said. “The volunteer hours are listed on our site under the volunteer tag.

“Volunteers will be needed to help sort gifts, finish filling left over tags from donated toys and organize for pick up and delivery day.”

The program’s shopping day will be Dec. 3.

For more information, contact the committee at 260-571-4123.

Posted on 2015 Nov 24