For the third year in a row, hospitals, cancer centers and oncology groups across the country needing hats for their patients continued to rise. However, a sad sound resonated throughout 2011. Centers need more and more hats each month. In these tough economic times, patients faced with a cancer diagnosis are worried about how to pay for tests, treatments, drugs and their physicians. Where they would have taken one 'free' cancer cap before, they are humbly asking the center staff, may I please have two? In the past year, we've also seen several new cancer centers open their doors, asking for several hundred hats on opening day, and then dozens each month to sustain their patient population.
Halos of Hope is launching our Soothe for Spring Campaign asking our knit and crochet volunteers to make adult hats, for women and men, in lighter weight yarns, so that we will be prepared to meet the need of a new cancer center opening this summer, and several cancer centers located in warmer weather states, requesting 30-50 hats every month. Soothe for Spring will run January 1 through April 30, with a goal to have a minimum of 3,000 hats ready in early May as the weather warms. Hats can be sent to Halos of Hope, or dropped off at one of our donation locations, at any time throughout the campaign
During Soothe for Spring, we will continue to accept hats made from other fibers, and accept hats for children and teens. We know many people are striping it up with their leftovers from the holidays, and some of those will be worsteds and bulkier weight yarns. These hats will go to the centers that need them in the remaining winter months, and kids always need help. As those projects are finished, find the cottons, cotton-blends, bamboos, dk weights, fingering, sock weight, and baby yarns. Then knit or crochet a breath of spring, the warmth of summer, and light, cool, comfort into your caps.
We have provided some yarn suggestions and options at the end of this newsletter, and will post the yarn-suggestion list in our Hatliners' blog, for reference on our website through the next four months. Visit our patterns and guidelines page, our Ravelry group, or our Facebook page if you need hat pattern ideas to get you started. Throughout the campaign, we'll try to share other pattern suggestions, and we encourage our volunteers to share their cap creations through the social networks to help us all discover new options.
Halos of Hope sends hats to over 450 cancer centers nationally. While our target for this campaign is 3,000 hats targeted for very specific requests, every hat makes a difference. Each hat received over 3,000 with this campaign means we can soothe another person's stress experienced from the hair loss side effects of chemotherapy or radiation.
For those of you that are talented and willing to share your talents... I thought I would pass the info on. Making it a great day! S