By Erin Hassanzadeh

ORONO, Minn. (WCCO) — When COVID-19 forced us into our homes last year, Abby Stovern turned to the internet for inspiration…and she landed on knitting.

“When quarantine first started, my mom got me a loom,” the 11-year-old from Orono said.

With a little help from YouTube, she kept going.

“At first I would make maybe [a hat] a day and then I was making a couple a day,” she said.

She kept going.

“We were giving them away for Christmas presents, but there were still so many,” Stovern said.

So she found a home for some of her homemade hats. She put them in her church’s essential kits for people experiencing homelessness.

And that was just the start.

She began bringing her hats to women’s shelters and to a Children’s Hospital.

“I got to meet one of the patients and they asked to see me, and I got to meet them,” Stovern said. “I was really happy.”

Her mom, April, said that she believes her daughter is making a difference.

“I like that she knows what it’s like to give back,” April said.

To date, Stovern has given away hundreds of hats and donated more than $2,500 to charity. Her goal for next year is to donate $10,000.

“I’ve always liked helping people,” Stovern said.

Stovern also sells her hats at farmer’s markets and craft fairs. A portion of the proceeds go to charity.

To follow Stovern’s work on Instagram, click here.

Erin Hassanzadeh