CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Children in Chicopee whose families are struggling financially this winter will be kept warm with homemade knitted winter accessories from local senior citizens.

Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) is partnering with the RiverMills Senior Center knitting club in Chicopee and the Valley Opportunity Council (VOC) to provide hats, mittens, and scarves for the children associated with the VOC.

The project has a two-fold mission: to provide older adults with a constructive activity to keep them engaged and to help low income children with essential warm clothing.

Holyoke Medical Center bought the yarn and provided instructions. When the items were completed, the knitters enclosed a card telling the child how long they have been knitting, who taught them how to knit, and why they wanted to knit hats and mittens for the children.

“This is the second year I’ve recruited knitters from Chicopee Council on Aging’s RiverMills Center, and once again they have come through for the children in the community,” RiverMills Center Assistant Director Holly Angelo said. “They never hesitate to volunteer their time and knitting skills for a good cause. I hope their knitted mittens, scarves, and hats keep the kids warm through the winter, and I hope the children know they are loved by the older adults from the Chicopee Council on Aging.”

“As the winter of 2022 starts to set in and we are seeing extraordinarily cold temperatures, these mittens, scarfs, and hats are essential to make sure our kids can safely play outside as part of their day,” said Stephen Huntley, Executive Director at Valley Opportunity Council. “Playing outside in the winter is a New England tradition and with Covid 19, is now more essential than ever to get some fresh air and burn off some energy!”

This is the second year that HMC has partnered with the senior center. In 2021 children at the Boys and Girls Club of Chicopee received the items.