A Heart- and Hand-warming Story with Children’s Friend
Denise Fitzgerald repurposes wool yarn from sweaters and makes them into mittens with proceeds benefiting Children's Friend.
It’s that time of year again where your nose turns red and your fingers freeze; winter has arrived! It’s time to get out your old gloves, if you can even find a matching pair. Enter Denise Fitzgerald, who for the past ten years has sold her own handmade wool mittens to help the Children’s Friend organization provide food, rent and utility assistance in emergency situations.
Fitzgerald was one of six children raised by her single mother and she learned firsthand about the assistance that organizations like Children’s Friend can provide to struggling families. She has always believed in the paying-it-forward mindset and has been a constant volunteer at the Children’s Friend Holiday Drive as well as other events. One day, a friend mentioned the mitten activity as a way to gather and donate funds to aid in heating assistance. This gave Fitzgerald the inspiration to begin making her own mittens to give back to a community that helps so many.
Beginning in August, Denise designs the mittens and spends several hundred hours with her mother and sister cutting, sewing and adding buttons. “It’s time consuming and a lot of work, but it’s worth it,” she says. “It’s really important to give back, and if I do it, maybe that will inspire someone else to pick up a project.”
In her first year, she made thirty mittens, and each year she sets a bigger goal. This year, her goal was to make 100 pairs of mittens, and she exceeded it by making 130 pairs that generated a little under $4,000, with all proceeds going towards Children’s Friend.