Pay it Forward: The crocheting hat lady

A Le Claire woman has made it her mission to make sure no one in her community goes without.

Jody Arguello is known in her community as the “hat lady” and wears the title proudly. She learned to crochet back in high school and her hobby has turned into her way of lending a helping hand.

Arguello started crocheting hats for the needy four years ago. Every year she starts fresh with new hats and crochets all year long. She crochets a minimum of two hats per day throughout the year.

“It really doesn’t take very long to do one, maybe two hours or so,” claims Arguello.

By the time holidays come around, Arguello has made over 1,000 hats.

“I sit in my chair at night because watching television is such a waste of time, so what else can you do watching tv?” asked Arguello.

When the weather temperatures start to drop and all the hats are finished, Arguello packs them into dozens of bags to give to the homeless, elderly, needy or really anyone who needs a little extra help.

Some of Arguello’s hats are also sold at local gas stations – like Mother Hubbards and Casey’s General Stores in Le Claire – for $5 and all the money raised goes towards food baskets for the needy.

Her dedication to help her community is what inspired Debbie Clark to nominate Arguello for a Pay it Forward award.

“Jody is a very unique woman. She has not had an easy life but her kindness in her heart is so big and she’s so caring,” said Clark.

Arguello was so thankful to receive the award.

“Thank you. Now who am I going to pay it forward to?” asked Arguello after the surprise.

But her community says she already pays it forward every day of the year.

Arguello’s kind heart also extends out of Iowa. She also sends hats to her friend in Michigan to help the needy there.

If you know of someone doing wonderful things in the community, nominate them for a pay it forward award.  The form can be found here.

Pay it Forward is a sponsorship with Ascentra Credit Union.