This morning I awoke early -- excited that Connecticut has seen it's first major snow accumulation (we got about 4"), and excited that I would soon be on my way to the Save the Children World headquarters, located in Westport. I was going to attend their event to help celebrate the next step of the Caps to the Capital and, in their words, allow them to say a great big thank you to everyone in Connecticut who participated and volunteered with this fantastic project.
Upon entering their building this morning, the first sight to greet my eyes was the large room filled with some of the thousands upon thousands of crocheted and knitted hats, 282,000 of them! These tiny and beautiful hats will help babies in Malawi and Bangladesh; two countries, says Save the Children, suffering a "high rate of newborn deaths in each country each year."
In the lobby, after registering and hooking up with other members from the HHCC (who helped the launch of this project over three months ago), we were then welcomed to coffee and donuts supplied by Dunkin' Donuts, and to look at the scrapbooks and displays they created that helped tell the story of crocheters and knitters coming together; absolutely amazing!
Later, with radio station 96.7thecoast mc'ing the event, we sat down to a presentation starting with Sharon, an employee at Save the Children who confessed she's not a crocheter or a knitter, but, in her own words, "...helped by licking stamps and sorting hats."
Next was Carolyn Miles, the COO (Chief Operating Officer) of Save the Children who said within hours of the 2005 State of the Mother's Report coming out, their phones started ringing with people wanting to get involved. So they partnered with the Warm Up America foundation and "Caps to the Capital" was soon under way.
Of the 282,000 hats, 17,109 came from 1,267 Connecticut residents. (I am one of those residents who donated 75 hats.) Of the 282,000 hats, 3,120 were from the New York City Crochet Guild (10 of which were mine, bringing my total contribution to 85).
We then met Congressman Christopher Shays and a local Brownie Troop who helped make a difference. We then met the person who started it all; a ten year old who not only sent in the first hat from Connecticut, but also for the entire campaign: Casey Lambert. As she read the letter she wrote to the President, the lyrics to a song my own children often sing came to mind:
Later we met Gloria Roache, and her very supportive husband, who upon going to the headquarters to drop off her contribution realized they needed help sorting hats -- so for three weeks, she and her husband did just that! Lots of hats! The presentation ended with a standing ovation for Eileen Burke, of Save the Children, who spearheaded the entire campaign. She did a fantastic job!!!
Later I asked Eileen if they're still taking donations. "At this time we're not. We're focusing our attention right now on getting all the caps to those in need. Afterwards," she stated, "we'll figure out where to go from there. But if we do, Dee, I'll get in touch with you."
By saving one little baby's life with a simple cap, we really are changing the world. One person at a time. :)