When Amanda Williams’ dad shared a news story about Little Hats, Big Hearts on her Facebook page, she knew it was something she wanted to get involved with.

The campaign’s goal is to provide 2,000 red knitted or crocheted hats to newborn babies in Kansas City area hospitals during the month of February. The red hats are used to raise awareness for heart disease during American Heart Month and help families learn to live heart-healthy lives. The project is sponsored by the American Heart Association.

“I read about Little Hats, Big Hearts and realized what a great cause it is. I love to knit and make things, so I wanted to put those skills to good use,” said Williams, who taught herself to knit during her junior year of college to relieve stress.

She enjoys learning new knitting stitches so getting involved with Little Hats, Big Hearts was a natural fit for her.

Not only did it look like a project she wanted to get involved with, it also touched a nerve close to home. She said her husband’s grandmother passed away in 2014 of heart disease and her great-grandmother also developed heart disease late in life.

Friends were quick to jump in and join Williams in the hat knitting project. Three co-workers and the niece of another co-worker have knitted hats along with Williams. 

“I posted the article on the bulletin board at work and was happy to have so much interest. I’m hoping to get more involved next year since they do the drive annually and we’ll have more time,” she said.

The local deadline to turn in hats is mid-February. Once hats are given to the American Heart Association, the hats are washed and dried to make them soft before they are put on the heads of newborn and premature babies.

Nine hospitals in the Kansas City area are participating in the Little Hats, Big Hearts program this year and will be receiving hats for their babies.  

Williams has knitted 10 hats and friends and co-workers have knitted 91 more.  

“Each hat takes an hour or two to make. I knit during work breaks and at home in the evenings,” she said. 
Little Hats, Big Hearts began in 2014 in Chicago where it collected 300 hats the first year and has expanded to volunteers knitting hats in more than 40 states this year. Williams is planning to get a bigger group involved this summer to get an early start on knitting hats for next year.

Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at gabi_kansas@yahoo.com