Seven Gridley residents made 118 Little Hats and gave them to the American Heart Association’s Little Hats, Big Hearts 2018 campaign. Little Hats, Big Hearts started in February 2014 in Chicago, IL collecting 300 hats in the first year. The program is now nationwide in 40 states. Every baby born in February at a participating hospital will receive a hat that was created by a volunteer for Little Hats, Big Hearts. The hats made in Gridley went to Sutter Sacramento and Sutter Roseville as the closest hospitals participating in this nationwide program. The AHA of Sacramento had a goal of 1500 hats for Sutter Sacramento and Roseville. The purpose of the AHA Little Hats, Big Hearts is to raise awareness about congenital heart defects. These are the most common form of birth defect. February is the month of love. It’s also American Heart Month. There is no better time to spread awareness about how to have heart-healthy families.

The project helps spread awareness about congenital heart defects — which affect about 40,000 babies born in the country each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This project got started because you can reach a whole family unit with just one hat," said Anne Schullo, community engagement officer at AHA in Chicago. "When people see volunteers knitting hats or newborns wearing a red hat, they ask what the hat represents and that gets the conversation going about heart disease.” Hundreds of volunteers knitted or crocheted more than 90,000 caps for 460 hospitals in 2016, states Anne Schullo, the Chicago AHA Little Hats, Big Hearts coordinator.

If you are interested in participating along with fellow Gridley residents in the 2019 Little Hats, Big Hearts project contact Barbara Ott at 680-5146. Grab some red acrylic or cotton yarn and knit, crochet or loop loom some itty bitty hats to promote heart health in families and raise awareness for babies born with heart defects. This year we met a small proportion of the AHA Sacramento goal of 1500 hats, next year we can do far better.

This has been such a rewarding project that there are plans being made to expand and make hats and lap warmers for local elderly and hats for chemo patients in Chico and Yuba City. Come Join Us.