Retired man in Edmond crochets hats for infants
Hats made by an Edmond man adorn the heads of babies and children who receive assistance from Infant Crisis Services.
EDMOND — Richard Newville sits in the lobby of Touchmark at Coffee Creek Retirement Center and crochets baby hats like they're going out of style. A miniature chalkboard to his left reads “1,155.”
“After this one it will be 1,156,” he said as he crocheted a multicolored hat with a tool kit he says is affordable and available at grocery and craft stores.
The former business owner and oil industry employee is retired with two grown children. He lives with his wife, Margaret, at the north Edmond retirement center. He enjoys reading, watching baseball and crocheting hats for babies and toddlers who visit Infant Crisis Services in Oklahoma City.
Newville, 66, became familiar with Infant Crisis Services through Westminster Presbyterian Church, where the organization originated.
After a friend showed him the hats he was crocheting for soldiers in Afghanistan, Newville decided to take on the hobby and crochet caps for children.
“At first I was nervous, imagining what people would think of a grown man crocheting. I thought people would think I was a sissy. But then I remembered Roosevelt Grier, and some of my fear was taken away,” Newville said, referring to the former NFL defensive tackle.
“I thought if this giant of a man could do it, so could I.”
Newville said crocheting is a stress reliever and also helps him maintain his dexterity.
Inspired to help
Inspired by his favorite book, “The Purpose-Driven Life” by Rick Warren, Newville felt the desire to help others.
“No one should go without food and clothes and their basic needs. Especially not children. I love to see their reaction when they learn that they get to pick out a hat to take home.”
Mike Farris, founder and executive director of Infant Crisis Services, started the organization in 1984 as a Sunday school project at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City.