Keeping Your Neighbors Warm

baby caps

I am so excited about this post!  There are so many opportunities to help here, thanks to the organization, “Warm Up America!” (www.warmupamerica.org).  Warm Up America! is a non-profit organization which has helped keep people warm since 1991 with knit and crocheted afghans.  Sometimes the thought of making an entire afghan can seem like a daunting task, so founder Evie Rosen came up with the idea of having people knit or crochet small rectangles to be joined together by volunteers.  Warm Up America! has grown in size and scope since that time, and now distributes afghans, caps, scarves, lap blankets and shawls.

I discovered that Warm Up America! is now collecting tiny baby caps for premature babies born in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.  The University of California San Francisco’s East Africa’s Preterm Birth Initiative is partnering with the Makerere University in Uganda, Kenya Medical Research Institute, the University of Rwanda and Rwanda Biomedical Center to initiate the East African Preterm Birth Initiative to these areas.  This Initiative is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is distributing caps provided by Warm Up America! and other agencies.  Their goal is to get and distribute 1,117 baby hats by World Prematurity Day, 11/17/2017.  World Prematurity Day, November 17, 2017, is a global conference which will be held in San Francisco and attended by the East African health ministers.  All caps need to be delivered to the Warm Up America! office by November 5, 2017 for presentation for that day.  The problem of infant mortality is exacerbated in this part of the world because pregnant women do not receive adequate nutrition of health care, resulting in premature births.  These little ones are already fighting an uphill for survival, they are unable to maintain their body temperature and have no access to warm water.  Every year 1 million premature babies die within their first 28 days.  Use of these caps helps them maintain their body temperature, giving them a fighting chance for survival.  For more details about this program, visit pretermbirth.ucsf.edu.    Please mail or deliver your tiny hats by November 5, 2017 to Warm Up America!

Ship to WUA! offices:  Warm Up America!, ATTN:  Tiny Hat Campaign, 3740 N. Josey Lane, Suite 102, Carrolton, TX 75007.  If you want more information about WUA!’s program, just go to http://www.warmupamerica.org/tiny-hats-tiny-babies.  Incidentally, the baby cap photo shown above is the result of my coworkers’ efforts to help Save the Children’s Caps for the Capitol program several years ago.  The first year we completed 15 caps and we were happy about that.  But the second year, word spread and we were able to complete and send 132 baby caps!  We were over the moon.  It is a really good feeling to know that you might have saved a little life.

But wait, there’s more.  Hills Bros. (the coffee company) announced a new partnership with WUA! in conjunction with the company’s new Hot Cocoa line.  Hills Bros. will donate a pair of warm socks to Warm Up America for every purchase of this new product through 2017.  Believe it or not, socks are the number one item requested by shelters.  Particularly in area with cold winters, these are much appreciated.  Not a cocoa person?  Buy one and donate it to a food bank.  That will make a nice warm treat for someone in the cooler weather.  Add a box of powdered milk and they are good to go.

The author, Debbie Macomber is also partnering with WUA! to start a drive of friendship shawls.  (https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/welcome.html) I refer to them as prayer shawls.  When my father was very sick with cancer, someone from his church brought over a prayer shawl.  I was so impressed, that I started making my own prayers to give to friends and loved ones.  Sometimes I will get an overwhelming urge to make a shawl for someone.  I select a yarn that I think will “speak” to them, and I pray for them the whole time I am making it.  I give it to the recipient with a note, explaining the purpose and intention.  Now, I have to admit that I am a lousy crocheter and am as slow as molasses in January.  But somehow, I get it done.  I’m thinking that this might be the year that I break down and take some crocheting lessons.  I tried knitting, but that didn’t go so well!

In case you are wondering why I didn’t mention blankets and shawls for the hurricane areas, it is my understand that these are very warm areas and have no use for these items.  If you can enlighten me regarding this, please do!  I’m sharing the WUA! information because it is something we can all do while watching TV, waiting in line, or listening to music.  The need is everywhere, and I’m just trying to help where I can.

Thanks for stopping by,

Cindy

“The best portion of a good man’s life is his little nameless, unencumbered acts of kindness and love.”

Wordsworth

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