Coinciding with its one year anniversary, the Goleta Knitting and Crocheting Group donated its 1,000th hat for newborns to Direct Relief on Wednesday.
The group – which has grown from 10 members to nearly 40 over the last year – meets weekly at the Goleta Public Library located near Direct Relief’s headquarters to knit items for charity.
“We never thought in terms of a thousand when we started,” said Cherie Bratt, a leader of the group who suggested they make hats for Direct Relief after hearing about the maternal and child health initiatives from a friend.
Direct Relief sends the hats to its partners around the world to help give newborns a warm start to life. The hats help infants maintain a regular body temperature by compensating for heat loss through the head. They also act act as an incentive for the mother to come to a clinic or health center for delivery or post-delivery care.
“I feel honored to be a part of a group of people who care so much about others and reflect it through the act of knitting. It’s a tangible expression of our love and care for others locally and internationally,” said Amanda Mellor, a volunteer who helps run the program.
And indeed, perhaps the best thing about the hats is that the recipients know that someone who they will never meet took the time to craft a gift of love.
In addition to making baby hats for Direct Relief, the group also makes hats, socks, and blankets for other organizations such as local homeless shelters and soldier support agencies.
“People always see awful world news and ask themselves, ‘What can I do?’ You can do one little thing. It takes a lot of people doing one little thing to make a difference,” said Cherie.
If you live in the Santa Barbara area and would like to join the group or donate yarn, contact the Goleta Library at (805) 964-7878.