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Bus driver 'Miss Patty' knits more than 7,000 hats for the students she drives to school

Miss Patty Reitz has crocheted an impressive 7,083 hats for the students and the school.

Bus driver 'Miss Patty' knits more than 7,000 hats for the students she drives to school
Image Source: YouTube/ WGRZ-TV

Miss Patty is a force of nature. Years ago, Miss Patty noticed that many students that rode her bus never had hats on cold days. Being the compassionate woman she is, she decided to do something about it. For more than thirty years, Patty Reitz, affectionately known to students as Miss Patty, has been leaving a legacy of friendship and warmth with the students of Clarence Central School District. Over the course of her career, she has crocheted an astonishing 7,083 hats for the students and the school.

Reitz's journey of crocheting began in 2005 when she was caring for her ailing mother in the hospital and needed something to keep her occupied. Later, she decided to take up the craft on her bus while waiting for the students to board. "I needed something to do," she said. It was on her first attempt at a hat that a high schooler noticed and asked Reitz to make a hat that would be suitable for skiing at Holiday Valley.


“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 usually crochets either elf hats with pompoms or potato sack-shaped hats with tassels at the corners, and she purchases all the yarn herself. “She cares. She cares about her students,” said third-grade 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.”

Despite the amount of work, she has already done, Reitz has no plans to stop anytime soon and is already organizing for next year's bus riders. Third-grade teacher Deborah Bosworth believes that Reitz's hats bring more than just warmth to the students; they bring friends as well. Reitz intends to keep crocheting until she is no longer able to, and her students will be sure to remember her fondly.



“I’m going to do it until I can’t do it anymore,” she said. Miss Patty's act of kindness and generosity is inspiring. She is a great example to all of us that we can make a difference in the lives of others, even if it's something as simple as making hats. Miss Patty's selflessness is an inspiring example of how we can all make a difference in our communities.

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