Gardnerville woman uses passion to give back |

Gardnerville woman uses passion to give back

by Rachel Spacek

One winter morning in 2010, Louise Roeder of Gardnerville, saw a boy walking to school in the bitter cold without a hat or gloves. This scene sparked a passion in Roeder, who began a project to donate 300 handmade hats to the Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada. This year, Roeder donated 100 hats and scarves to the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission to help those in need keep warm this winter.

“No kid should be without a hat,” said Roeder.

She said she felt that if she has a roof over her head, clothes on her back and food on her table, she should be helping others who don’t have those luxuries. “I am not rich, but I can afford to do something,” she said.

Crocheting, quilting and knitting is Roeder’s passion. She is part of the Never Give Up Crochet Group that meets once a month in Minden to get together to crochet, share ideas and projects. Roeder has been part of the group for the last three years.

Roeder started crocheting the 100 hats last year around Dec. 31 and worked up until the first week of November. She said she would work on the hats and scarves every day on and off.

“It was work, but for me I didn’t mind because I love to crochet,” Roeder said.

Roeder has been sewing since she was 9 years old and learned to crochet at age 16. She said she loves the creativity these projects give her and she feels relaxed when she is working.

Roeder grew up on a farm in New York and was used to making everything she needed. She recalled when she moved into a new room, she made the drapes and bed spread.

“If we wanted clothes, we made them,” Roeder said. “If I wanted to give a gift, I would make it.”

In 2010, Roeder made more hats than there were Boys & Girls Club members in need, so the rest of them were sent to the Carson City location. This year, Roeder chose the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission as the place she would donate her hats and scarves.

“I’ve met so many women who are doing the same thing as me, who are contributing their work and are giving from their hearts,” Roeder said.

At first Roeder said she did not want to draw attention to herself since there were so many other people giving to the community, however she said she hopes her story will provide encouragement to others to give back. She said there are easy and inexpensive ways to give back.

“You don’t have to do 100 hats, you can start with five hats.”