Dane County non-profit turns wool sweaters into mittens, donates funds to food pantries
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Old sweaters are getting a second life thanks to a group of local volunteers who turn them into mittens and donate all the proceeds to Madison area food pantries.
ReMitts is a non-profit that upcycles wool sweaters from St. Vincent de Paul, Goodwill, or community members.
“We wash them in hot water, dry them on high, we cut them into mitten pieces, we sew them. We do the sewing at home, we bring them back for hand finishing, each one gets a button and tags, and then they get sent out into the community,” explained volunteer Ann Nelson.
The mittens are then sold at about 30 Dane County businesses, including St. Vincent de Paul stores, Barriques Coffee Roasters and Cafes, Brennan’s Market, and Metcalfe’s Markets for “a suggested donation of $35 per pair.”
All the proceeds go to benefit food pantries including Middleton Outreach Ministry and the River Food Pantry.
“The organization has existed since 2009 and in that time we’ve raised $650,000 as of last year, and we’ve raised $83,000 this year,” said Nelson.
Nelson has been a volunteer with ReMitts since 2017 and said she saw an opportunity to put her sewing skills, which she learned from her time in 4-H, to good use.
“I’d have to say our favorite parts are the camaraderie of the group itself. We’ve gotten to know each other very well, working together every week. It’s always fun to see our friends and to make something that’s creative and beautiful and benefits food pantries,” told Nelson.
Other than purchasing a pair of mittens or volunteering to sew, another way people can support the organization is to donate 100% wool sweaters.
“If you have a sweater that’s well loved, even if it has a hole in the elbow or a stain, we can work around that,’ explained Nelson.
Click here to download the NBC15 News app or our NBC15 First Alert weather app.
Copyright 2022 WMTV. All rights reserved.