Inside Third Street Stuff & Coffee in Lexington, Chad Compton can often be found knitting.
"The click of the needles is quite relaxing. Usually I use the wooden ones," Compton said.
He may not look how most people think a knitting enthusiast might, but he loves it. Knitting has been part of his life for nearly two decades, starting when he underwent multiple surgeries.
"When I was trying to recoup and recover from those, I was like I'm not going to be that kid that sits and plays video games all day; I'm not going to do that stuff, so I ended up teaching myself to knit," Compton said.
He knits hats, scarves and blankets for himself and loved ones, but after all these years, he wanted to find a way to use his talents for the good of others.
"You know what, I make a lot of stuff for a lot of people and they never wear it, and I'm like there has to be a place I can give it to so someone can get some use out of it," Compton chuckled.
So, in 2018, Compton started the nonprofit Knit It Forward. He based it on a similar charity he learned about in Oregon. He relies on knitters in the community to donate creations to those who need a little comfort or warmth.
"It's just to make someone feel that little moment of somebody cares for me. You know there's love, there's hope, there's warmth in it. That's the concept," Compton said.
Anyone can donate supplies, hats, scarves or squares that Compton can stitch together to make blankets, all of which go straight to nursing homes, assisted living facilities or even those who call the street home. There are donation bins set up around the community, including at Third Street Stuff where people can drop off or pick up free supplies for the taking
"I'm going to make this world a little bit better before I leave it," said Compton.
Click here for more information on Knit It Forward.