LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) -- On a different soggy day in Lawrence, Hailey Solomon was sitting on wet stands completely unaware that she was about to go viral.

“It was the only football game I’ve been to in my entire college career,” Hailey Solomon, a KU Civil Engineering student said.

On October 5, Solomon came to see the professor she nominated, Dr. Matt O’Reilly, honored at halftime with the Honor for an Outstanding Progressive Educator Award or H.O.P.E.

“I couldn’t miss it. I had to go. I went to go support him and cheer very loudly and I did,” Solomon said.

Then ESPN shared video of her crocheting during a rain delay.

“Almost the second I got home, my sister texted me and said, ‘really? Is this you?’ And I’m like, ‘that is me.’ It all just blew up from there and it was very unexpected,” Solomon said.

So were the reactions from the 1.4 million people who saw the ESPN tweet.

“Definitely the marriage proposals. I got a lot of those. That was very funny because I planned to be a nun,” Solomon said.

But there’s more to the story of why she crochets. After first walking down Massachusetts Street in Lawrence years ago, Solomon made a promise to herself.

“It was really eye opening to go to Mass Street where there are a lot of glimmering shops and there are people sleeping underneath them,” Solomon said. “I came from a very small town of Oswego, Kansas. We didn’t have much of a homeless population there. I remember promising to myself that if I made it to KU then I would find a way to help these people.”

She did just that her sophomore year when she started Warm the World KU using the crochet and knitting skills she crafted thanks to her grandma.


“I’m so thankful I get to share it with people,” Solomon said.

Warm the World KU teaches people how to knit and crochet for free. Everything they make is donated to help keep anyone who is homeless warm.

“The fact that a little 30 second video of me crocheting in the rain brought people joy brings me joy too,” Solomon said.

Soon she will donate all of the handmade hats, blankets and scarves to help those who are homeless in Lawrence.

If you want to learn to crochet to help the homeless in Lawrence all you have to do is check out Warm the World KU on Facebook. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, StormTrack5 weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from KCTV5 News. 

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