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Thomas College student finds a way to give back despite the pandemic

Isabella Van Zandt teamed up with classmates to knit baby hats and make bracelets for the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers.
Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers
Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers(WABI)
Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 2:04 PM EST
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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - A Thomas College student spent some time this semester turning a hobby into helping out this holiday season.

“With college this year you can’t really get involved with the schools that much because of COVID, but it felt great that I was able to at least donate something to a great organization and kind of help out with kids,” said Thomas College student Isabella Van Zandt

Volunteer opportunities were limited for many college students this semester due to the pandemic.

But first year elementary education student Isabella Van Zandt wanted to find a way to give back.

“I started making scarves but I had this yarn leftover and I couldn’t make an adult sized hat so I started making baby hats. I originally did start this knitting project around my sophomore year, however I didn’t really have the resources or know where I could donate them,” Van Zandt said.

Van Zandt shared the idea with classmates at Thomas College in Waterville and her old high school in Gorham to knit baby hats and make bracelets for the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers.

Thomas College students team up to make hats and bracelets for kids in the central Maine area.
Thomas College students team up to make hats and bracelets for kids in the central Maine area.(Thomas College)

“It was awesome to see how much the community at Thomas College really got together and my high school how they got students to make bracelets, so I thought it was really great that people were able to get involved and wanted to be involved,” Van Zandt said.

The Waterville organization works to help children and families in the central Maine area.

“The number of donations have been down his year in terms of the volume of what people can generally offer, but people have still stepped up and it’s just been amazing the way people have donated and dropped off items,” said Executive Director of the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers Richard Dorian.

This year they will provide winter clothes and books to nearly 1,600 children.

Van Zandt says this was a great start in getting involved with the Waterville community.

“We’re just so proud of the number of younger people that have stepped up to say that they really want to make a difference,” Dorian said.

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