Bus driver knits more than 7,000 hats for the kids she transports to school

An astonishing 7,083 hats has been crocheted for the pupils and the school by Miss Patty Reitz.

Miss Patty is a powerful individual. She discovered years ago many of the youngsters who rode her bus didn’t have hats on cold days. So she made the decision to take action.

Patty Reitz, better known to kids as Miss Patty, has been building a legacy of friendship and kindness with the students of Clarence Central School District for more than thirty years. She has crocheted an astounding 7,083 hats for the students and the school over the course of her career.

When Reitz was taking care of her ailing mother in the hospital in 2005, she started crocheting as a way to pass the time. Later, while waiting for the pupils to board, she made the decision to work on the craft on her bus.

Then one day, a high school student asked Reitz a question that would start everything.

“The one boy gets on the bus, and he goes ‘what are you doing?’ I said I’m making a hat. He said ‘that would be great going down ski slopes at Holiday Valley.’ So I said what color would you like? That started everything,” Reitz told the local NBC affiliate.

From there, her hat-making picked up steam. Reitz typically makes hats in the form of potato sacks with tassels on the corners and she buys all the yarn herself.

“She cares. She cares about her students,” said teacher Deborah Bosworth. “Any student that I’ve had that has been on Miss Patty’s bus gets a hat, and they also get a friend. Miss Patty is one of the favorites.”

Reitz has already begun planning for the bus riders for next year despite the amount of work she has already completed.

According to Deborah, Reitz’s caps bring the students more than simply warmth; but also friends. Reitz plans to continue crocheting until she can no longer, and her students will always have happy memories of her.

“I’m going to do it until I can’t do it anymore,” she said.

She is an excellent example for all of us that, even with something as straightforward as knitting hats, we can improve the lives of others. Miss Patty’s generosity is a powerful illustration of how we can all improve our communities.