In 1991, Bonnie Hagerman set out to donate clothing to premature and low-birth weight infants in Washington, D.C. hospitals. What began as a personal effort in Hagerman’s Hood College office has expanded across America, Canada, and Italy, with a network of over 2,400 volunteers and more than 28,000 articles of clothing donated.
Over the past 18 years, this 501(c)(3) organization has developed relationships with numerous hospitals. Their website provides a helpful hospital search so volunteer can customize items to meet each hospital’s needs. Volunteers are not limited to the hospitals on the list but are encouraged to contact hospitals in advance to better meet their needs.
A wide variety of items can be made to donate. From sweaters to hats to teddy bears, each project is needed and loved. Care Wear provides numerous hand and machine knitting, crocheting, and sewing patterns for your convenience, although any pattern can be used. The garment patterns on Care Wear's website have been adjusted to fit premature and low-birth weight infants who often do not into normal clothing.
There is no need to sign up to be a Care Wear volunteer. Simply attach a Care Wear label to your article and donate it to a hospital. Items should be made from machine-washable yarn. Wool can be used for blankets only and should be clearly labeled as such.
For more information about the organization, please contact it directly at CareWear.org.