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Crecelius to share KKi's dream as part of Hansen Speaker Series

Kohl Crecelius is bringing his organization's “Buy a hat. Change a life.” mantra to the Doane.

The CEO and co-founder of non-profit Krochet Kids int’l (KKi) will share his messages of hope, leadership and social enterprise to the School of Arts and Sciences Campus in Crete in a 7 p.m. Hansen Speaker Series session on Feb. 11 in Heckman Auditorium.

Crecelius and two of his friends started crocheting and selling their knitted products in high school for money. Though they went separate routes in college, they joined each other on a trip to Uganda and decided to create KKi after seeing a way to empower impoverished people through education.

They taught Ugandan women how to crochet and sell their items, which helped empower the women in the war-torn country with economic independence through employment. KKi sells headwear, bags and other fashion items.

Besides the 150 women they have working in Gulu, Uganda, the organization has expanded their reach to Lima, Peru, where another 30 women have joined the enterprise.

This form of micro-lending has been met with much success for KKi. The organization has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, the New York Times Magazine, Outside Magazine and in a nationally broadcast Bing commercial. Plus, they’ve sold items through major retailers such as Nordstrom and Volcom.

For more information, visit KKi's profile on KepplerSpeakers.com.