Michelle Strehl; Founder, Director of the Board, and Professional Knitter
When I was 4 years old, I lost the use of my right index and pointer fingers due to an accident. My jacket was caught in the gears of a truck and took my hand with it. The trials presented by this injury put my family and I through hell and back. Between cross-country doctors visits, many months in the hospital, and the incessant teasing of my peers, I never stopped hating it long enough to realize the blessing my injury was. The long drive to the doctors visits allowed me to see the country and spend time with my family. The hospital taught me compassion and patience you don’t normally see in a 5-year-old girl. However, it was the teasing that really drove me. Whenever someone told me I couldn’t do something, I worked that much harder to prove that they were wrong. I could anything a ‘normal’ kid could do and (most of the time) do it better. Their sneers pushed me to be a hard worker and a compassionate person which I wouldn’t dream of trading for a chance to be ‘normal’.
I graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in May 2015 with a degree in Spanish and French. Shortly afterwards, I moved to Colorado for work. I spend the majority of my time knitting and sewing for Mitts That Fit and running the administrative side of the project. In 2016 we launched a scholarship program for people who cannot afford gloves and we officially became a non-profit. This has awarded us many opportunities that we otherwise would not have had. In the winter of 2017 we are hoping to release sewn gloves and I am working with our designer on a customizable pattern for those.