Head Huggers is a terrific organization that has been in operation since 2001. I was astonished to find that while it has been featured in the Knitting Nuggets Newsletter, it has never been featured here on this website. That changes now! Sue Thompson founded the program after meeting a woman named Pamela who was going through chemotherapy. They met on a fair-weather day, yet the woman needed a baseball cap to keep her head warm. Sue thought, “It’s a shame that she has to struggle with fighting cancer as well as a cold head.” Her instinct was to knit her new friend a hat. That sparked the thought that there must be many, many others like Pamela who were fighting cancer and also had cold heads. This was the spark of Head Huggers, and before long Sue had an army of volunteers all over the United States who were helping her in her mission. Today, Sue and her vast network continue to knit, crochet, and sew hats to distribute to those undergoing chemotherapy, as well as folks who have lost hair due to brain surgery, burn wounds, and other situations. As of this writing, there are 75 chapters in the United States, and even a chapter in Australia!
How You Can Help
One of the greatest features of Head Huggers is its enormous pattern library. Here you’ll find knitting, crochet, and sewing patterns for both adults and children. So if you enjoy knitting hats (or making hats using other needlecrafts), this is a great resource. Once you’ve made hats, the best way to contribute is to find your nearest chapter and send the hats there. This page lists all the chapters. Many of the chapters have their own website; others just list the contact information, so you can simply send an email to the chapter leader. If there’s no chapter near you, you can do one of two things. First, you can send your hat(s) to Sue herself, using the address shown on the Head Huggers home page. (Please note that if you do this, it would be kind to include a small donation to cover shipping costs. Sue sends hats all over the country on a fixed income.) The second thing you can do is start your own chapter! That way you can collect and donate locally. Starting your own chapter is very easy, and Sue is always glad to help a new chapter. Check out this page to see how you can do just that. We’ve written about the Southeast Florida Head Huggers group in the past. And stay tuned, as you will soon also be able to read about Delaware Head Huggers. (If you run a Head Huggers group and would like me to write about it, please let me know!) So if you have a heart for anyone who has lost their hair and want to keep those heads warm, I think you’ll find creating hats for Head Huggers to be very rewarding!