More than 4,000 red baby caps were ceremoniously donated to area hospitals today at Florida Hospital for Women to kick off American Heart Month. The hats, which were knitted and crocheted by volunteers from across Florida and as far as Puerto Rico, will be distributed to babies born in local hospitals throughout the month to raise awareness of Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) – the nation’s most common birth defect.
“The ‘Little Hats, Big Hearts’ program is a great way to kick off American Heart Month and raise awareness about the importance of a healthy lifestyle for babies’ heart health,” said Deborah Spielman, vice president at Florida Hospital for Children. “With educational initiatives like this and continuous research we will be able to fight this disease that affects so many of our children.”
Each year, 40,000 babies in the United States are born with CHD. That’s over 100 per day and more than four per hour. The Little Hats, Big Hearts program is the American Heart Association's campaign, in connection with the Children's Heart Foundation, to raise awareness of heart disease, the No. 1 killer of Americans, and CHD, the leading cause of death from birth defects. The program is sponsored locally by Massey Services.
“We are honored to partner with the American Heart Association to bring awareness to such an important initiative that will benefit our community,” said Andrea Massey-Farrell, Sr. Vice President of community relations for Massey Services. “We are grateful to so many of our community members who donated their time and energy to ensure that Little Hats, Big Hearts is a successful campaign.”
Little Hats, Big Hearts launched locally in December, when the American Heart Association and Massey Services hosted a community “knit-in” at Florida Hospital. Dedicated volunteers from across Central Florida joined other knitters and crocheters at Florida Hospital Orlando’s Creation Park Lawn to create and donate hundreds of hats to the program.