Woman helps feed the homeless with her knitting needles

Federal Way resident Paula Hatley has found her niche in knitting.

Hatley, who once benefited from the free dinners and clothing offered through local churches, feels that this is her way of giving back to better the lives of the homeless.

Homeless people get cold, Hatley said, and her homemade afghans are the perfect remedy.

Each afghan typically takes about 12 spools of yarn and three months to complete. She relies completely on donations to create the large blankets, which could cover a queen-size bed.

She uses the excess yarn to knit hats for babies at St. Francis Hospital.

Hatley gave her first afghan to a Caregivers program in Puyallup.

She also spent time with some acquaintances in Seattle who requested blankets, but because of the amount of time needed to complete each one, it was impossible to fill the demand.

This problem gave Hatley the idea of raffling off her afghans.

“After two people approached me and tried to buy the afghan from me,” Hatley said, “I realized that I could make money through selling them.”

The money from the raffle will buy a lot of food, and be able to help more people than one afghan could, Hatley said.

Two Federal Way churches — Calvary Lutheran and Steel Lake Presbyterian — each host a weekly dinner for homeless in the community. Many volunteers help set up, cook and serve food.

Raffle tickets can be purchased through the church offices and during the dinners, where Hatley will show the afghans.

Because Hatley was a recipient of the churches’ generosity, she will use the money raised from the raffle to buy food for all of the homeless guests on Thanksgiving.

“I have homeless friends, and I know what it is like,” Hatley said. “This is my own small way of giving back.”

Contact Lyndsey Wilson: or (253) 925-5565.

Get involved:

Paula Hatley regularly knits afghans and donates them to homeless people. This year, she made two afghans and will hold a raffle to benefit feeding programs at two local churches.

People can view the afghans purchase raffle tickets from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. every Monday at Steel Lake Presbyterian Church, 1829 S. 308th St., and from 5 to 6 p.m. every Thursday at Calvary Lutheran Church, 2415 S. 320th St.

Raffle tickets cost $2 for one ticket, or three tickets for $5. To learn more, call Paula Hatley at (253) 946-2935.

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