For Brian How, English as a Second Language (ESL) adjunct lecturer at Gannon University, knitting is a hobby; a way for him calm down and relax after a long day. He also finds the entire process interesting.

So when How was brainstorming ideas about a way to unite his ESL students, particularly the females, he decided to teach them how to knit. It took off like a light and before he knew it, How had copious amounts of hats and scarves he didn’t know what to do with.

How and his students decided to have a hat sale, which took place in December. The event raised $1,125 in one day. Because of the success, they decided to have another sale for the Gannon Community.

The second sale took place in early January. Gannon students, faculty and staff sent a total of $1,942 directly to the Red Cross/ Red Crescent’s Syrian Refugee Crisis Appeal as individual contributions sent through the organization’s website.

How said that this is a great charitable contribution that faculty, staff and students can partake in. He said the donations are a charitable contribution that allows people to honor their faith together, in a combined, interfaith way.

Not only does this embrace the message of Christianity and Islam, religions that both call practicing participants to help the less fortunate, but it also embraces the mission of Gannon as well.

“It’s such a simple thing to do, but like a lot of simple things it relates to many, many important things,” How said. “It allows you to bring learning and relaxing, with some beauty, into life in a quiet and contemplative way.”