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/ A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E
M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1
22 / A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E
M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1
o the naked eye, Kro-
chet Kids international
might look like any
other Orange County-
based apparel brand.
Their nonprofit status, even, risks
getting lost in the local crowd
that includes the likes of Toms
Shoes and Invisible Children.
What does set it apart from the
others, however, is its unique
and humble beginnings.
As Krochet Kids international
directly benefits over 500 North-
ern Ugandans through its unique
microfinancing program, it is al-
most impossible to believe that
this fast-growing nonprofit was
founded just four years ago by a
group of college guys who had
crocheted their way to fame in
small town Spokane, Washing-
While other students at Mt.
Spokane High School were busy
studying for exams, attending
parties and working part-time
jobs, Kohl Crecelius, Stewart
Ramsey and Travis Hartanov
were crocheting. That's not to
say that "the Krochet Kids," as a
local newscaster deemed them,
were excluded from the normal
social scene.
Rather, they also spent much
of their time socializing, snow-
boarding and competing with
the rest of their cross-country
team. They even used the money
that they earned from the sale
of their beanies and scarves to
buy their sweethearts the "per-
fect" prom -- skating rink and
hot air balloon ride included.
For Kohl, Travis and Stewart,
who learned their craft from
Kohl's older brother Parc, crochet
was never about the end prod-
uct, but of the process of creat-
ing something out of nothing; of
making something powerful out
of something hopeless.
After graduating and mov-
ing away to college -- Kohl to
The University of Washington
and Travis and Stewart to Van-
guard University in Costa Mesa,
California -- the guys put down
their crochet hooks and began
to focus on their studies, quiet-
ly hoping to someday use their
craft to do good in the world.
In the Summer of 2006, Stewart
took a trip with other students
of Vanguard's International Busi-
ness program to Gulu, Uganda
where he witnessed first-hand
the devastation that a 20-year
civil war had had on the nation's
land and people.
Refugees in their own coun-
try, generations of Ugandans
had been born, lived and died
in government-issued camps that
had originally been built to pro-
tect the people from the Lord's
Wielding Hooks of Hope
by Katrina bookhout Photos by David Garvin
A photo of all of our crocheters in Uganda. Our family has grown from 10 women to 87 women within the past year!