CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — A Chesterfield County mom is giving back to the homeless one blanket, scarf, and glove at a time.
Jenny Hook founded Operation Warmth, a group of women that crochets winter accessories like hats, gloves, scarfs, blankets, and socks for the local homeless population.
The nonprofit holds a special place in her heart because she used to be homeless many years ago.
“I was homeless at one point. I was a cancer patient. I lived in a car for a while and I wouldn’t have been able to get through that if it wasn’t for the kindness of other people,” said Hook. “I just want to give back like people gave back to me.”
Hook created the group in February 2016. It started with just family members but now consists of more than 40 members, including volunteers from her Deer Run community.
“This gives them purpose. Giving back to the community,” said Hook.
Operation Warmth meets up every three to four weeks to crochet winter items and give them out to the homeless. The group distributes them to frequented areas throughout Chesterfield, Richmond, eastern Henrico, and Hopewell.
Hook and her crochet team are also known to leave a trail around town.
They tie winter accessories to poles and fences with a message for the recipient: “I’m not lost. Take me if you need me.”
“It’s just basically to say this wasn’t left by somebody else. If you need…. Please take this to get warm,” said Hook.
If you don’t know how to crochet, there are still ways you can contribute to the cause. The nonprofit also collects donated winter accessories.
“One of the most needed things and one of the hardest things to come by is socks,” said Hook.
As temperatures continue to drop in the Richmond area, Hook says her goal is to raise awareness to help the homeless.
“We went through everything we had last year. We even had to turn away people because we didn’t have anything else,” said Hook.
Operation Warmth will kick off the winter season at Hook’s restaurant, Good Doggie, on Black Friday, November 23. The business is located at 11552 Busy Street in Midlothian.
“Come and crochet and/or drop off hats, gloves, scarfs, and socks to be distributed.”
For more information about Operation Warmth and how to donate, click here.