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Little Hats, Big Hearts

POSTED BY: Florida Hospital

You Can Help Warm Our Tiniest Hearts

There is nothing more precious and magnificent than welcoming a new life into this world. Every parent greets their new addition with love, adoration and all the hopes for the brightest — and healthiest — future ahead.

But sometimes, those hopes are challenged. And so is the case when a baby is born with a congenital heart defect, which is a structural problem with the heart that is present at birth.

According to the American Heart Association, about eight of every 1,000 newborns are faced with some form of congenital heart disorder, with most being mild. Per year, this equals over 40,000 babies affected by these conditions. But with medical advances, access to some of the best pediatric heart experts, a lifelong network of care, faith and more awareness, hope for a healthy future is very bright.

Inspiring hope for congenital heart defects at Florida Hospital

The pediatric cardiology team at Florida Hospital for Children is staffed by some of the leading experts in the world who are at the very forefront of new techniques, technologies and treatments that can address many of the most complex congenital heart diseases.

And we don’t stop there because raising more awareness about congenital heart defects is just as important as striving for cures. And you can help.

How you can help warm a newborn’s heart

In preparation for American Heart Month in February, we are participating in the American Heart Association’s “Little Hats, Big Hearts” campaign by collecting knitted or crocheted red hats that will be donated to every baby born at one of our Florida Hospital locations (Orlando, Winter Park, Altamonte and Celebration) throughout the month of February.

Here’s where you come in: we need more hats! If you’re a seasoned knitter or even a beginner looking for a good reason to start, we have some information on how you can create and donate little red hats for our families’ newest additions in support of American Heart Month.

Quick FAQs for Little Hats, Big Hearts

1. I want to knit/crochet hats, how do I make them?
Hats should be made with red medium or heavy weight acrylic or cotton yarn so that they can be machine washed and dried. Use your favorite pattern, or there are a few patterns available on the American Heart Association’s website. As for sizes, most are preemie or newborn, but since babies come in all sizes, we take them starting at micro-preemie and going up to larger sizes as well.

2. How many hats should I knit?
Please knit or crochet as many hats as you want to create.

3. Can yarn other than red be used?  How about hats made from other materials?
The yarn needs to be red (or red dominant if variegated) and either cotton or acrylic.

4. I’ve knitted some hats, where do I send my donation?
Your hats can be delivered to the American Heart Association – Greater Orlando, or brought to one of the participating Florida Hospital locations below. Please call (855) 303-DOCS to be connected to the volunteer services department of your nearest Florida Hospital.

5. Why do I need to send my hats to that location? What if I want to deliver my hats personally?
It is important that hats are sent to either the Florida Hospital or American Heart Association staff so that they can be properly washed, packaged, and be paired with educational materials for the new parents.

6. If I don’t knit, how else can I help support the American Heart Association?
Please visit or text HAT to 41444.

7. I have more questions, who do I contact?
Learn more here.  Or call the American Heart Association – Greater Orlando at (407) 481-6300.

Drop Off Locations

Florida Hospital Altamonte 

601 East Altamonte Drive
Altamonte Springs, Florida 32701

Florida Hospital Apopka

201 North Park Avenue
Apopka, Florida 32703

Florida Hospital Celebration Health

400 Celebration Place
Celebration, Florida 34747

Florida Hospital East Orlando 

7727 Lake Underhill Rd
Orlando, Florida 32822

Florida Hospital for Women

601 E. Rollins St.
Orlando, FL 32803

Florida Hospital Kissimmee 

2450 North Orange Blossom Trail
Kissimmee, Florida 34744

Florida Hospital Orlando

601 East Rollins Street
Orlando, Florida 32803

Florida Hospital Winter Garden

2000 Fowler Grove Blvd.
Winter Garden, FL 34787

Winter Park Memorial Hospital 

200 North Lakemont Avenue
Winter Park, Florida 32792

American Heart Association

237 E. Marks Street
Orlando, FL 32803