How ReMitts Began
ReMitts started when Janet Tupy admired “upcycled” mittens – mittens made from old sweaters – at a gift shop.
“I remembered reading about a pastor in a small church who gave each member of the congregation $100 with the charge to ‘grow’ the money and donate the proceeds,” said Janet. “I thought, ‘What could I do with $100 dollars of seed money? How much could I grow for a good cause?’”
When she saw the upcycled mittens, she knew immediately what she could do with $100. Even though she hadn’t sewn in many years, she thought, “I could do this!” She gathered a few friends, they found a pattern, bought some wool sweaters at a thrift store, and made their first mittens. The year was 2009, and their goal was to raise $1,000 to donate to local food pantries. They raised $4,000 and ran out of mittens!
Fast forward to 2017, when the small group of friends, which grew to approximately two dozen friends, raised more than $65,000. Altogether, ReMitts has raised more than $292,000 for four local food pantries: St. Vincent de Paul, the River Food Pantry, Middleton Outreach Ministry and Iowa County Food Pantry.
By taking something that was destined for the landfill and repurposing it, ReMitts and the customers who locate the mittens are feeding hungry people.