This month our Featured Charity, Little Hats Big Hearts, being presented by Katie Clary of Salty Pearl Crochet.
Katie first learned about Little Hats Big Hearts when her mom volunteered to help collect and donate Little Hats for Illinois National Bank in her home state of Illinois. What started as a fun, mother/daughter crochet project soon turned into a personal mission to raise awareness for heart health issues. When you donate one of these wonderful Little Red Hats, you not only help share the warmth of our craft with newborns in your community, but also play an important role in helping the American Heart Association provide information and resources to families affected by Congenital Heart Defects.
Although this may not be a local Charity to us all, I hope by sharing it with our friends and family, Little Hats Big Hearts will receive the support it needs. If you are unable to help personally, please share this with your friends online – you never know – you may reach someone who is able to make a difference! If you would like to contribute too, we encourage you to crochet the featured free pattern this month and donate it to Little Hats Big Hearts, or a local charity of your own.
Please read on to learn more about Little Hats Big Hearts and how we can help. ♥ Rhondda
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Little Hats Big Hearts:
Little Hats Big Hearts raises awareness for Congenital Heart Defects by giving red hats to babies born in February at participating hospital nurseries and NICUs across the U.S. The charity started in my home state of Illinois, but has since expanded to over forty U.S. states!
This means that for those of us in the USA, our donations will go to support people in (or very near) our own communities. I love being able to support my local hospitals. Knowing that the Little Hats Big Hearts program is backed by both the American Heart Association and the Children’s Heart Foundation makes me even more confident in giving my time and yarn! Not only do the hats serve as a wonderful way to share warmth with newborns, they also help raise awareness for the resources available to families affected by heart health issues.
FUNDING AND SUPPORT FOR LITTLE HATS BIG HEARTS COMES FROM THE FOLLOWING:
Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association has long provided a platform for scientific research, policy making, and public education on important heart health topics. They are the largest provider of CPR training, and they have several initiatives to help inform the public and our law and policy makers on heart health issues- all to help improve the lives and prognosis of people affected by heart disease and stroke.
The Children’s Heart Foundation came to be in 1996, in honor of a beloved son who died of a congenital heart disease. Since then, this organization has worked to fund research in congenital heart diseases, providing upwards of $9.6 million dollars for scientific studies to help improve the prognosis of children affected by congenital heart disease.
HOW WE CAN HELP
LITTLE HATS BIG HEARTS ACCEPTS DONATIONS OF:
Crocheted, Knitted, and Loomed hats in red, to symbolize healthy hearts.
These hats should be sized to fit newborn or preemie babies and made from medium to heavy weight red yarn. For the babies’ safety, avoid decorations (such as buttons, flowers, or pom poms) that may come off the hat, or long ties that could pose a strangulation hazard.
Since the hats need to be clean and sterile for newborns, they should be machine washable and dryable, and made from either cotton or acrylic fibers. For that reason, all donations should be mailed to the collection center nearest you, not hand delivered.
To find the donation center nearest you, visit the Little Hats Big Hearts web page and select your US state from the drop down list. If you don’t see your state yet, you can mail your hats to any state of your choice.
For those of you outside the United States who wish to support Little Hats Big Hearts with knit or crochet donations, they ask that donations be sent to the main collection center in Chicago at this address:
American Heart Association
208 South LaSalle, Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60604
Monetary donations to the American Heart Association will also help spread awareness for heart health issues. They accept one time and monthly donations to help provide a little red hat to babies: Donate to Little Hats Big Hearts or Donate to the American Heart Association. You can also donate from your mobile device by texting HAT to 41444.
There are so many wonderful free crochet (and knit!) patterns that would be perfect for donating to Little Hats Big Hearts in red yarn. Katie has curated a pattern collection of her favorite FREE crochet hat patterns to help inspire you to donate to Little Hats Big Hearts. You can also crochet this brand new Chevron Puff Hat to donate! This pattern is perfect for donating to Little Hats Big Hearts (or your favorite local hospital or charity) because it’s simple to make, free of decorations that could be dangerous to baby and full of texture!
This is Katie’s Chevron Puff Hat:
This simple stitch pattern uses miniature puff stitches to add a textured chevron pattern to a basic beanie.
This looks amazing in cherry red yarn for Little Hats Big Hearts, but would look equally stunning in any color of your choice to support a different newborn hospital charity.
The striking chevron texture works well for boys or girls, and the subtler texture of the mini puff stitches keeps the hat from getting too bulky for tiny heads.
Katie is a busy mom to two kids (and the world’s fluffiest border collie) and proud wife of a U.S. Marine who swept her away from their Midwest roots to the faraway coasts of the East China Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and lately Tampa Bay.
When she’s not combing the beach for seashells, she’s using yarn to send her love back home like a message in a bottle to her loved ones who stayed behind.
You can find more of her free, beach inspired crochet patterns on her blog, Salty Pearl Crochet.
Thank you for visiting! Would you like to learn about some of our other Featured Charities?
Here are a few of our past features: