I spent a couple of hours at midday meeting freshmen and their families, unloading their trucks and U-Hauls, and carrying their Rubbermaid containers and futon covers up to the top floors of the dormitory. It was in the nineties today, and every once in a while the loading zone at the front door emptied out and gave the students and me a chance to check our cell phones, suck down some water, and stand in the shade for a minute or two.
During one of those breaks I pulled out the scarf I'm making for the Orphan Foundation of America's Red Scarf project and knit a few rows. One of the student orientation staff made a joke about not needing a scarf today, which gave me a chance to mention why I was making one.
It seemed so appropriate to be knitting for college students with no parents while I was greeting parents who were dropping their children off at college for the first time. I love the Red Scarf Project because it gives me a chance to send the same kind of warmth that I enjoy lavishing on my students to former foster children attending college all over the country.
If you knit or crochet, consider making a scarf in any unisex color and pattern for this wonderful program. Starting September 1, you can send up to five scarves to the OFA, along with gift cards or the like, and they'll distribute the care packages next Valentine's Day to the thousands of young adults they serve.
If you're not a knitter or crocheter, you can contribute to the effort, too. Just donate via this PayPal link. The Orphan Foundation of America gets four stars, Charity Navigator's highest rating, and 91 cents out of every dollar donated goes straight to the beneficiaries. I promise it'll make you feel nearly as good as wearing a cozy handknit scarf on a frosty day.