I’m so excited to share a very special hats-for-babies initiative with you today. This initiative was begun by my friend’s sister. Patty Webster is a pediatrician who visited Haiti last fall with the organization Love a Child for a mobile medical clinic.
I’ll let Patty give you some more background:
“The mobile clinic was to a mountain village called Lastic, and it was too remote to return to base each evening so we camped out in the mountains. It is warm in the days and gets fairly cool in the evenings. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed it.
“After the first of the year I was cleaning out spaces in my house and came across a bunch of yarn that I had and a book a friend gave me called Itty Bitty Hats by Susan Anderson. I decided knitting baby hats would be a good way to use up the yarn and feel like I was doing something other than frittering my evenings away in front of the TV. It also occurred to me that this might be something the Moms up in the mountains of Haiti might appreciate for their babies when it gets cold at night.
“So I started knitting, and a few friends knitted some hats with me, and in the end we had 33 hats to send to Haiti. They handed them out at the next mobile medical clinic that they did in February. The moms loved the hats.”
In Haiti, the poorest villages are so poor that oftentimes the children have either very tattered clothing or no clothing at all. Patty reflected on seeing a baby boy wearing a dress because that was his mother had. Can you imagine the pain of not being able to clothe your children or keep them warm? I can’t!
This photo shows what a typical Haitian child might wear.
Would you like to help bring smiles to impoverished moms’ faces and help keep babies warm? Read on!
How You Can Help
The easiest way to help is by making baby hats. These hats are not only essential for keeping the babies warm at night, but they’re also a delight to the children’s mothers. As we’ve mentioned so many times on these pages, it means so much to people who have nothing for complete strangers to give of themselves to provide them with something beautiful.
Some guidelines for the baby hats: first, they should be made of soft yarn that dries quickly, and wool should be avoided. Cotton does not dry quickly or hold its shape well, so you should skip cotton yarn as well. Acrylic, polyester, and nylon are all good choices as long as they’re soft.
Second, patterns used should be simple. A pompom or tassel at the top is fine, but don’t get more elaborate than that. The fear is that a mom could feel bad if another baby received a fancy hat while her own baby received a plain hat. So if we all stick with simpler hats, everyone will be happy!
Good news on the yarn front: Haitians love color. So feel free to make your hats bright! You can use lots of different colors or solid colors. Heathered or ombred colors are great choices, too. And pastels are always a delight.
If you want to get a little more ambitious, feel free to make baby sweaters or blankets. Hats and sweaters can range from newborn to 2 years old; blankets should stick with the typical baby blanket size.
Patty would love to make this an ongoing project, but for now she asks that items be sent by the end of July 2016. The need is tremendous in Haiti, and the sooner help arrives, the better.
Want some more motivation? Check out these adorable babies (and mamas!) with their beautiful hats.
Once you have hats, sweaters, and/or blankets finished, you can send them to this address:
Love A Child, Inc.
Attn: Sharleen Breshears
12411 Commerce Lakes Dr
Fort Myers, FL 33913
Could you all do me a favor? If you’d like to participate in this program, and you knit up and send out hats/blankets/sweaters, let me know. Patty has asked if I would be willing to keep track of readers of Knitting for Charity and the Knitting Nuggets Newsletter’s contributions, and I think that’s a great idea. You can even send photos, if you’d like, and I’ll publish them in future Knitting Nuggets Newsletters.
So if you are looking for a way to make a difference, I hope you’ll consider knitting hats for the babies of Haiti. I feel so privileged to share this special opportunity with all of you, and I know you feel that way, too!