Macomb Township woman crochets hats and scarves to benefit local students

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published November 19, 2020

 In October, Chippewa Valley Schools received 130 hat and scarf sets that were handmade by Vivian Mathew. Pictured are Hailey Ross, Lilly McEvoy and Elyse McEvoy.

In October, Chippewa Valley Schools received 130 hat and scarf sets that were handmade by Vivian Mathew. Pictured are Hailey Ross, Lilly McEvoy and Elyse McEvoy.

Photo provided by Diane Blain

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — It’s the spirit of Thanksgiving personified.

In October, Chippewa Valley Schools received 130 hat and scarf sets, handmade by Vivian Mathew and donated on behalf of her church, St. John the Apostle Church in Clinton Township.

“These hats and scarves will keep 130 of our students in need warm this winter,” Chippewa Valley Schools Director of School and Community Relations Diane Blain said.

Mathew, 71, of Macomb Township, said knitting is one thing she could do to help.

“I talked to my church and they agreed to let me make them to donate, and I suggested the school district because of Hailey going there,” she said. “I know there are a lot of people out of work and hurting right now. It’s getting colder and kids can use a scarf and hat.”

Mathew’s granddaughter Hailey Ross is a fourth grader at Fox Elementary in Macomb Township.

Chippewa Valley Schools Superintendent Ron Roberts said his reaction to the donation was “what a wonderful act of kindness.”

When he heard of the news, Roberts said it made his day to think that someone would sit and knit all the hats and scarves and donate it to the district.

“I was very impressed with it,” he said. “That’s a true investment of time. We live in uncertain times and you hear a lot of noise about whatever the issue of the day might be. This was a breath of fresh air.”

Mathew began knitting in January and finished in October.

“Whatever you think it is that may be small can make a big difference in someone else’s life,” Mathew said.

Roberts added that COVID-19 has taken a big hit on the economy.

“I’m sure many parents are impacted,” he said. “We’ll reach out to principals who will engage their school social workers and find a way to distribute them. It’s a donation made with such love. This isn’t like someone with extra dollars. It’s a person who made an investment of time.”

Roberts said with Thanksgiving upon us, Mathew represents what the holiday is all about.

“She personifies it,” he said. “We look at our community and whenever we ask people to contribute, people are always generous, and this is another example. What makes this even more special is that it wasn’t solicited. It’s a random act of kindness that is much appreciated.”  

Mathew’s daughter, Susan Ross, said the district was extremely appreciative and excited to offer it to the students.

“We know there are kids in our district who could really use these at this time and I’m really proud of her,” she said.

The materials will be evenly distributed among elementary schools.

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