Take a walk through the halls and the reception area of Notre Dame High School any time during the winter months and you're likely to run across a student busily working on a very special project, her donation to Notre Dame's annual scarf giveaway. With brightly colored skeins of yarn and knitting needles, students lovingly create scarves and hats that will ward off the winter chill for the less privileged in our community. Started by Notre Dame's kind and welcoming receptionist, Emilia Peña-Bobst, eighteen years ago, the project has grown steadily. This year, the 65 scarves, created by Emilia, her crew of students, and some parents and staff are being donated to the Bill Wilson Center and the National Alliance on Mental Illness shelter in our local neighborhood.
Emilia, who was taught to knit by her grandmother, teaches the new students who want to participate through several informal sessions in the fall. "It brings joy to my heart to watch the girls. Some of them struggle with learning how to knit but they keep trying until they get it right. I am so grateful to the students, the parents, and the faculty and staff for joining me in keeping this going every year." In turn, we are grateful to Emilia, who inspires a whole new group of students every year to make the season a little less harsh for our neighbors who are struggling through this cold winter.