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Red hats give to children’s shelter

by Jo Rafferty

A group of five ladies donned their red hats and purple and red outfits Monday and met at Wal-Mart to go shopping.

These women, from a group of 18 Chatty Hatters of the international Red Hat Society, gathered $895 in donations, plus another $100 from Wal-Mart, to shop for toys and items to give to children at the Northern Nevada Emergency Children’s Shelter in Carson City.

“We wanted to do something charitable for the holidays,” said “the queen mother of chatter” Charlene Spinner.

The Chatty Hatters members, who are a group of women ages 50 and older whose philosophy is “not taking your silliness seriously,” grabbed their shopping carts and made their way to the toy section. Wish lists for 14 children were divided among the women, Jan Johnson of Gardnerville, Tamara Nagley of Minden, Arlene Schreiber of Carson City, Chris Myers of Minden and Spinner of Minden.

Each shopper had the name, age and shoe sizes of the children and were told to make sure each child receives three toys. Following that they were going to pick out items such as board games to remain at the shelter and slippers for each of the children.

Target donated socks and Ron Grant of the Carson City Raley’s store No. 114 gave 14 toys worth $250. In addition, the Carson City Raley’s is going to provide all the food and utensils for a party on Saturday for the children at a location in Carson City.

“Ron Grant took $100 out of his own pocket, too,” said Spinner.

Spinner said she had been surprised at the generosity of Carson Valley residents. When she got her nails done at a local salon, a woman overheard Spinner talking about what they were doing and handed her a check. Spinner did a double take when she saw it was a check for $200.

“It makes you happy,” said Spinner, fighting back tears. “Sometimes you’re surprised.”

The same woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, gave Spinner another check for $100 a few days later, money she had collected from her friends.

The Northern Nevada Emergency Children’s Shelter is a confidential home where children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and-or neglect stay for up to one year during the transition period before they are either reunited with their families or moved to foster homes. Some of the 12 children living there now, ages 14 months to 14 years, are from Douglas County, according to Spinner. Two children they were shopping for had already left the shelter, but were still in need during the holidays.

n Jo Rafferty can be reached at jrafferty@recordcourier.com or 782-5121, ext. 210.