The cold winds of winter will soon be here, but thanks to knitters in the Hands from the Heartland group, area homeless veterans will be better protected.
The group met Saturday, Oct. 24, at Homewood Public Library to put the finishing touches on its donations to Jesse Brown VA Hospital in Chicago, which distributes the items to homeless veterans in the Chicago area, according to spokeswoman Mary McDermed.
Janice Scott completed a hat to make the total of donations a nice round number: 1,120 hats, scarves and afghans. The total exceeded the group's goal for the year by 320 items.
McDermed said the group the project about five years ago, donating its handcrafted garments to troops stationed in Afghanistan. The group donated more than 3,000 items during that time.
When most of the troops came home, the group turned its attention to those returning veterans who need the most help, she said.
"It's a shame these guys who fought for us have no homes," said Joan Brazzale, a Hands for Heartland volunteer.
There are about 2,000 homeless veterans in the Chicago area, McDermed said.
Photos by Eric Crump/HF Chronicle.