Mei Lin has crocheted hundreds of hats and scarves for various organizations and individuals, children’s hospitals, veterans’ groups, hospices, homeless shelters and cancer centers.
Mei Lin is a 75-year-old resident of Barrington Square in Acworth, Georgia. In 1961, she emigrated from Taiwan to New York, where her husband owned and operated a gift shop. They relocated to Savannah, Georgia, where their daughter was born in 1967, two months early. Having lost their first child as the result of a premature birth, they feared their daughter would not make it. She did survive and has done well in life, but the experience left Mei Lin with a desire to do something for others.
After the death of her first husband, Mei Lin worked as a restaurant manager in Atlanta. She later remarried and moved to New Hampshire, where she and her husband ran their own restaurant for about 20 years. On the way to visit her daughter in Georgia, they were in a terrible car accident that ultimately claimed the life of her husband in 2008. Mei Lin chose to sell her home in New Hampshire and return to Georgia to be close to her daughter. She learned to crochet, then got the idea to crochet hats for premature babies in neonatal intensive care units all over the country.
Mei Lin cannot read English but can crochet any pattern by sight alone and, most recently, by watching YouTube videos. She is incredibly talented and thoughtful. Since moving to Barrington Square three years ago, Mei Lin has crocheted hundreds of hats and scarves, which have been delivered to various organizations and individuals, locally and nationwide, including children’s hospitals, veterans’ groups, hospices, homeless shelters and cancer centers.
Mei Lin always makes sure to keep some hats with her and has been known to give them away randomly to people she encounters, whether at the grocery store, food bank, senior center or within Barrington Square. She is adamant about one thing — the donations she makes to larger organizations must remain anonymous. Why? Because Mei Lin does it out of the kindness of her heart and the joy she feels from doing for others.
For donations, Mei Lin includes a card from her church, Hickory Grove Baptist Church, and uses their return address. The church often helps with shipping the items that Mei Lin creates. Because she doesn’t like being in the spotlight, she was hesitant at first to share her story with United Church Homes. But her giving nature won out, and she agreed, adding that if UCH knows of anyone in need, she will gladly make some hats for them.