An unexpected hobby becomes a labor of love

Teachers make beanies for cancer patients.
When Jill Wilson-Fairbanks, a second-grade teacher, saw her mother losing her hair due to chemo treatment, she decided to find a comfortable knit cap for her to wear. The problem was, none of the beanies she found were soft enough. When she couldn’t find the right cap, she took matters into her own hands.

“Hobby Lobby and fifty dollars later, along with a YouTube video, I figured out how to make them myself,” Jill said.

She bought a knitting loom and Lion Brand Homespun yarn. After making one cap, she made a few extra to donate to other cancer patients.

A fellow teacher, Rosemarie Alvarez, asked about the knitting project. Rosemarie was touched to discover Jill was making beanies for cancer patients. Her own mother had gone through cancer treatment and used a donated beanie for comfort. Both teachers’ personal experiences sparked a desire to help others.

Now the two teachers, along with a dozen other volunteers, gather once a week after school in Jill’s classroom to knit cozy caps. They donate most of their handiwork to a local cancer treatment center, but they have also sent hats to patients all over the country who have heard about their hobby.

For Jill, knitting beanies is a labor of love. What started out as a desire to help her mother has turned into an unexpected hobby that blesses her and encourages others.

“It just comes from my heart!” Jill said. “I’ve always wanted to find a way to give back, and I feel like I was called to this!”