UPDATE ON THIS POST!
THIS ORGANIZATION MAY NO LONGER NEED HAT DONATIONS. Please refer to the website for Little Hats, Big Hearts to see if you local chapter sill requires hats. The hat patterns in this post are ideal for any organization that accepts donations of baby hats.
February is here, and in addition to being the month of love, did you know it’s also American Heart Month? In honor of all things heart health, The American Heart Association has partnered with The Children’s Heart Foundation on a charitable project called Little Hats, Big Hearts ™ .
If you love babies and working with yarn, then you’ll want to read on!
First, some fun facts about the heart.
Source: The Cleveland Clinic.
The heart is truly an amazing organ, but there are also some concerns that can pop up along the way:
Did you know that approximately 1% of all babies born in the US have a congenital heart defect (CHD)? That’s nearly 40,000 newborns each year! There are approximately 100-200 newborn deaths annually from unrecognized heart disease. While this information is sobering, it’s important to note that many of these issues are preventable and treatable so that these babies and adults can live healthy lives.
That’s why we were so excited to learn about Little Hats, Big Hearts™ – a charity initiative that is seeking to raise awareness, research, and treatment for heart issues big and small by providing a gift to newborn babies and their mothers, while spreading the word about heart health. When you visit their site, you will find out where to donate the hats you make and what hospitals in your area benefit from your donation.
Little Hats, Big Hearts™ began in February 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. While it started small, Little Hats, Big Hearts™ has become a nationwide initiative. The American Heart Association in partnership with The Children’s Heart Foundation began the project to raise awareness, and provide resources for both moms and babies. The way it works is during the month of February thousands of collected knitted or crocheted hats are provided to babies in hospitals all around the country. The goal of the project is to increase learning and understanding on issues surrounding heart health in the hopes that more moms would have the information they need on heart health for their families, while also providing much needed info on CHDs so that treatment can be provided early on.
Hats are currently being collected for the project, and of course, there wouldn’t be any cozy hats to provide without the help of supporting knitters and crocheters around the nation. This is where you can help!
As a knitter or crocheter, you know that the most comforting garments are those that are handmade with love. For a new mom, there is often no gift more memorable than a tiny knit or crochet hat that her new baby can wear during those precious first months. You can create this feeling of comfort and love, while also helping to spread the word about the importance of heart health. Win win!
Little Hats, Big Hearts ™ is currently accepting donations of red hats (in honor of the heart of course) at various donation sites around the country. There are just a couple things to keep in mind as you create hats for this great cause:
Vanna’s Choice Yarn is the perfect medium weight choice for knitting or crocheting baby hats. Made from acrylic, this yarn has fantastic stitch definition. Vanna’s Choice Yarn is also machine washable, something that is very helpful when creating items for newborns. Best of all, it comes in the perfect shade of red!
Feels Like Butta is a soft and cozy choice for baby items and offers the velvety feel of chenille without the typical challenges that come with it! A medium weight yarn, that comes in the perfect shade of red, Feels Like Butta is like knitting with a cloud. Try it for yourself!
Prefer to work with worsted weight yarn? Our Pound of Love Yarn is a classic, easy care yarn that is perfect for baby accessories. Plus, you’ll have enough to make several hats from just one skein!
The hats should be made from a simple pattern. Here are a few of our favorite patterns to start with:
The American Heart Association has made it easy for you to deliver your hats when they are ready. Just go to their information page, located here, and select your state from the drop down menu. A list of donation sites in your state will show up once you make your selection.
Are you ready to get your needles or hooks ready? In a recent year, 90,000 hats were collected! Let’s make 2018 the best year yet for Little Hats, Big Hearts ™!
If you’d love to support the cause, but you don’t have the time to create any hats, there are other ways to help. Little Hats, Big Hearts ™ is also accepting financial donations to support newborns and their mothers. You can make a financial contribution here.
We would love to see photos of the hats you create for Little Hats, Big Hearts! Be sure to tag us on Instagram or Facebook with images of your hats, or leave a comment below to share your experience. We can’t wait to see what you make!