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Walnut valley Unified School District

ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

Giving from the heart

February 14, 2017

DIAMOND BAR, CA--Beanies, Food & Friends (BFF) is an initiative started by Castle Rock Elementary second grade teachers Jill Wilson-Fairbanks and Rosemarie Alvarez, who thought it would be nice to make beanies for women going through chemotherapy.  

For the past several weeks, the new group has been gathering in Wilson-Fairbanks’ classroom each Monday afternoon to laugh, loom, share techniques, and enjoy snacks.

Both teachers said their personal experience with cancer sparked a desire to help others.

It just comes from my heart!” Wilson-Fairbanks said.

“I have always wanted to find a way to give back and I feel like I was called to do this.”

During the holidays, Wilson-Fairbanks wanted to make some beanies for her mother who is currently undergoing treatment.

When she couldn’t find any knit caps that were “soft” enough, she found a YouTube video and taught herself to use a loom.

Then she decided to expand the giving by making beanies for other patients at the hospital.

Wilson-Fairbanks said her second-grade team wanted to help the moment they learned of her endeavor.

The “BFF” group officially launched after Alvarez suggested they invite all staff members on the Diamond Bar campus.

Wilson-Fairbanks has happily taught each volunteer to how make the colorful knit hats.

The BFFs also take turns bringing snacks and teaching each other new yarn skills – like adding cute pompom toppers.

“It is amazing to have so many people around me with such big hearts.  I feel a special bond with these ladies!” she said.

To date, the compassionate and crafty girls have completed over 35 beanies that will be donated to the University of California Irvine infusion center on February 15.  

By Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources


Castle Rock Elementary teachers Rosemarie Alvarez and Jill Wilson-Fairbanks head up the Beanies, Food & Friends project for cancer patients. 

The Beanies, Food & Friends group at Castle Rock Elementary is making knit caps for cancer patients