Local organizations partner to donate crocheted hats to City of Hope

From left to right: City of Hope Registered Nurse Kelly Sinise, City of Hope Registered Nurse Cristelle Dederer, Footprints in Pink Founder Jennifer Kennedy, City of Hope Breast Surgeon Dr. Dortha Chu and City of Hope Medical Oncologist Dr. Nimit Sudan. Courtesy of Jennifer Kennedy.

This holiday season, community members gathered together to create hand-made, crocheted hats to give to patients undergoing chemotherapy at cancer treatment centers throughout Los Angeles, including City of Hope Santa Clarita.

The hat donation was a collaborative effort between Footprints in Pink and the SCV Senior Center, who worked together to collect and crochet hats.

Heather D’Angelo, a financial advisor for Edward Jones, first had the idea to donate crocheted hats to those in need in late-2016.  She reached out to her friend and Footprints in Pink Founder Jennifer Kennedy to hold the first-ever winter hat drive.

“I was thinking, ‘what is something that we can do that is impactful?’” D’Angelo said.  “I like to knit and crochet and thought collecting hats would be great to donate to City of Hope.”

To add a personal element to the donations, D’Angelo said they also attached notes of encouragement to the hats with phrases like “You’re doing great,” and “Keep up the good fight” to inspire patients receiving the hats.

Seniors from the SCV Senior Center displaying their crocheted hats. Courtesy of Jennifer Kennedy.

Seniors from the SCV Senior Center and additional community members worked throughout November and December to create the hand-made hats.

“We got so many hats that we took half to the cancer center in Burbank [the Providence Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center] and half to City of Hope,” Kennedy said.

In total, the group received and crocheted more than 200 hats.  Those involved delivered approximately 75 hats and eight mastectomy pillows to City of Hope Santa Clarita, which were appreciated by recipients due to the cold weather hitting Southern California this winter.

“This is our first donation to City of Hope,” Kennedy said.  “We plan on doing it again next year and making it an annual tradition.”

D’Angelo is looking forward to creating and donating more hats to treatment centers in the future.

“Anyone can go out and buy a hat, but I think the idea that someone took the time to make or buy a hat and then attach a note and hand it to you, there’s something extra to that,” D’Angelo said.  “Having someone show kindness to you is worth more than just receiving a hat.”

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