With a gesture that embodies the giving spirit of the season, community member Melinda Hardie brought the holidays to Tick Tock Early Learning Center a little early this year. Just before Thanksgiving, Hardie brought in 108 pairs of hand-knit mittens and hats – one set for each child at Tick Tock in Avondale, PA.
The mitten and hat sets were carefully laid out for each child to pick their favorite. One by one they approached and excitedly chose the set that caught their eye. It seemed that each set had been made just for that child.
Hardie, a retired engineer at DuPont and avid knitter, was inspired to make this happen when her friend and Tick Tock Board Member, Debbie Horak, mentioned to her that last year a group of knitters had made a sweater for each child in the center.
Upon learning that there were about 100 children in the center, Harding paused for a moment – awed by the amount of time the sweaters must have taken. She then did the math (10 hours of knitting per set) and counted the days until the holidays.
What seemed a momentous task for one person became doable when 15 of Hardie’s friends stepped in to make her dream possible. “Crafters are a pretty generous community – we make with love in our hearts and are gratified by the appreciation of the gift recipients,” said Hardie.
The appreciation in the eyes of dozens of children was apparent on Wednesday. “I cannot believe the joy it brought to many of them – it took their breath away and that in turn took mine,” she said.
So with the first snow of the season upon us, kids will once again be running and playing in the wintry weather at Tick Tock. This season they will run and play with a little extra love keeping them warm.