Warming Heads and Hearts

Diverse sewing group gives back

As the colder temperatures of fall once again permeate the Portland area, one diverse community group is taking action to help our neighbors who are homeless stay warm on chilly nights.

The volunteer sewing group, called Warm Heads and Hearts, was organized as a way to provide warmth, love and dignity to those in need on the streets by creating handmade sewn, knitted, and crocheted hats and scarves for donation.

The organization’s founder and co-chair Annie Noumi told the Portland Observer the effort started as part of her church group’s ongoing outreach and service program for the homeless in the Portland and Vancouver areas, but has since grown to its own organization that trains other groups, and all faiths, to make the clothing accessories.

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Patrishia Probasco joined Warm Heads and Hearts after taking a class from the group to learn the craft of making handmade clothes. Now she donates her time to give hats and scarves to the homeless.

“There’s no restrictions on who we’re giving to. If you’re cold, you need a warm head,” Noumi said. “If a church group or otherwise contacted me, it would be very easy for us to come in and show a group of people to do this from the start, we’ve already worked out the kinks. And just let them go on their merry way doing it. I really would love to see this happening across the nation.”

Noumi runs the group with co-chair Sheila Sylvester, who heads up a scarf-making team.

Since the group began in 2017, they have already donated over 1,600 articles of clothes in the Portland and Vancouver area and an average of 10-20 people regularly show up for their creating sessions, both to learn techniques of the craft and volunteer to donate.

The group regularly meets at New Song Community Church at 2511 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and will hold two events per month through February.

For more information, including how to donate or volunteer, contact warmheadsandhearts@gmail.com, call Annie Nuomi at 360-910-2757 or Sheila Sylvester at 503-891-8644.