Be the Change: Hill City woman knits 2,000+ baby booties

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A woman from Hill City is giving away love in every stitch.

Grandma Mary knits a pair of baby booties at the Little White Church in Hill City. (KEVN)

"Probably with baby booties, it's been over 2,000," said Mary Jewett.

Over the last 25 years, Mary Jewett, also known as Grandma Mary, knitted and gave away thousands of winter clothing items to strangers.

"I love to knit. If I tried to charge for my knitting, first off all you can never justify the cost it would take in terms of time it takes to make it, but it would take the fun out of all of it," said Jewett.

Grandma Mary hangs the hats, scarves, and mittens on the metalwork over at Farmers Daughter in Hill City inviting anyone with empty pockets but cold hands to take an item.

And she gives away the baby booties to random women she meets around the Hills and around the world.

"Women are generally just kind of overwhelmed that a stranger would walk up to them and hand them a handmade gift like that. I've run into a couple of women who I thought were pregnant but weren't and that was kind of a disaster," said Jewett as she laughed.

Jewett's knitting doesn't only bring others joy.

It's helped her through rough times.

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer last September. Went through chemo. Went through radiation. My fingers went numb which is kind of a hindrance when you're trying to knit," said Jewett.

And she adds her hobby helped her heal.

"It is therapy. I listen and talk better when I've got something in my hands to work on," said Jewett.

Jewett hopes to continue helping people stay warm one stitch at a time.

"It feels good. I don't do it to get that kind of thing back because I will typically just hand a pregnant woman a pair of booties and then walk away before she has a chance to react or do anything, and that I really enjoy," said Grandma Mary.