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Rayma Kochakkan for TRW

When sweaters become hats: transforming old clothing for charity

When confronted with an old sweater, most people would give it up for donation or throw it out. The sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha decided to get a more unique use out of them.

The Black Room of the Apartment Community Center was home to their crafty service event, “DIY Beanie.” Laid out were lightly used sweaters, scissors, sharpies and a hot glue gun: all of the essentials for making your own headwear.

Attendees were encouraged, although not required, to outline the shape of their desired beanie on the sweater before cutting them out. They would then have the outside portions of the sweater facing each other and clue all around the perimeter. All that was left was to turn the hat inside it out and hope that it fit.

At the helm of this occasion was senior biology major, Ayana Henderson, the sorority’s vice president and program chair. She talked a little bit about the inspiration for the program.

“Since it’s getting cold outside, I thought we could take sweaters and clothes we were not using and give them a purpose by making them beanies,” said Henderson.

The idea of the program was first imagined as a service event, one of the duties of the organization that Henderson prides herself on putting together.

“As someone who is big on helping out, I love facilitating service events and giving back, and this opportunity was no different,” said Henderson.

A fellow sister and senior biology major, Simone Royster, praised the event for its originality.

“I really liked the idea behind this program because I enjoy the arts and crafts aspects of our event. This is actually the craftiest it has gotten in terms of programs open to the public,” said Royster.

Seeing as how the turnout was a little on the smaller side, Royster thought that the weather was to blame.

“Normally more people come out, but I think the rain held a lot of people back,” she said.

The effects of this event seem to stretch out beyond the immediate UMBC community according to senior media and communication studies major, Erica Lewis.

“Our hats can benefit the community by being created and given to those who really need it,” said Lewis.

Similarly, junior political science major, Gloria Walker, reflected on the impact of holding this program.

“We always try and find a way to contribute to the community and I think we did it in a creative and fun way so hopefully they will help those to whom they go,” said Walker.

Along with this program, the sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha also held a karaoke night on November 3. They are now in the process of planning a study night right before finals as a part of a collaborative effort with other on-campus organizations.