82-year-old woman spent all winter, summer crocheting hundreds of hats and scarves for Cleveland homeless

82-year-old woman spent all winter, summer crocheting hundreds of hats and scarves for Cleveland homeless
Donna McKenna, known as "Grandma Donna," in the neighborhood in which she lives in Wakeman, crocheted two hundred hats and scarves for homeless women, men and children since seeing our story on homeless women and children walking the streets of Cleveland.

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - You may remember our story from last fall that tugged at the heartstrings of hundreds and left many asking, ‘How could this be happening?’

Northeast Ohio change maker steps up to help area homeless

We exposed the sad truth that dozens of homeless women and children were being forced to walk the streets of Cleveland in freezing temperatures for at least six hours a day on weekdays, and all day on the weekends, with no where to go. The family shelters were full.

Without a bed in a shelter, the women were not eligible for any services, including getting money to buy food for them and their kids. Eventually, the county stepped in and a temporary overflow shelter for women and children was created.

Eighty-two-year old Donna McKenna saw our story back then and decided she needed to do something.

“They put these people out, and where are they wandering around to?” asked McKenna.

McKenna, known to the neighborhood kids as “Grandma Donna,” got right to work doing one of the things she does best: crocheting.

“I said: ‘Guess what?’ I’ve got tons of yarn here, plus the church collected a big bag of yarn several months ago for me,” said McKenna, “The whole time I am crocheting - and the scarves and everything I’m picturing the children.”

Close to 11 months later, and after hundreds of hours of crocheting, McKenna had 100 sets of matching hats and scarves that she neatly packaged for women, children and men. She left a note inside the box where she put all of the crocheted items that was signed, “love, Grandma Donna.”

McKenna didn’t have a way to get the hundreds of hats and scarves she made to the homeless women children and men who need them. So, we called the City Mission’s CEO, Rich Trickel, and coordinated a drop off.

“It’s heartwarming to see the compassion and the concern,” said Trickel.

“Grandma Donna” just wishes she could be there when the women, children and men receive the hats and scarves that she lovingly made for them.

“I hope they love them. I hope they enjoy it,” said McKenna.

And there’s more where that came from. Grandma Donna is still crocheting more hats and scarves for people in need - showing she cares one stitch at a time.

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