HELPING HANDS

By Jennifer Jones, communications specialist, Bennion Community Service Center

Facilities employees used some of the tiny newborn hats to decorate their Christmas tree at the department’s annual holiday luncheon.

Facilities employees used some of the tiny newborn hats to decorate their Christmas tree at the department’s annual holiday luncheon.

They maintain almost 300 buildings, remove tons of snow across 1,534 acres and, in their spare time, knit hats for hospitalized newborns and people who are homeless. Dozens of University of Utah Facilities Management employees spent their personal time knitting more than 200 hats as part of an annual service project.

The group selected the Knitting Necessities program as its 2015 volunteer effort. The knitting program is sponsored by the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center. Newborn hats are donated to Primary Children’s Hospital. Adult-sized hats are given to the Road Home shelter. Besides raising money for yarn and hand-held knitting looms, Facilities Management employees donated their time and talent to create all kinds of warm winter wear.

“I was expecting maybe 50 hats,” said Bryce Williams, special projects coordinator at the Bennion Center. “I couldn’t believe it when they dropped off more than 200. Those hats will do so much good.”

In addition to the hats, Facilities Management employees also created hospital waiting room activity kits. Williams says these kits will be given to siblings of sick children to help entertain them while they wait for a brother or sister’s medical appointments or procedures.

The knitting program is available on a drop-in basis at the Bennion Center to any students, faculty or staff who wish to participate.  The center provides yarn and looms for drop-in volunteers. Student volunteers can also provide lessons for individuals or small groups who schedule a visit by calling 801-581-4811.