Volunteers crochet personalized beanies for kids with chronic illnesses

Local News

A group in State College is crocheting for a cause.

Volunteers with The Brave Beanie Project are creating personalized beanies for children facing chronic illnesses.

“We just really felt like it would be a good idea to give them something to help make them feel happy, make them smile and help them feel brave in these sometimes very traumatizing situations,” Melissa Wilson, founder of The Brave Beanie Project, said.

Wilson’s son, Emmett, has severe hemophilia B and has to get transfusions twice a week. His dinosaur hat helps take his mind off things.

“He has to be so brave,” Wilson said. “Through his treatment we’ve met a lot of other families with these children who also have to be brave in their own right no matter what chronic illness they have.”

The group of volunteers crochet anything from favorite princesses to superheroes.

Karen Smitka helps crochet some of the hats. She also helps bring them to hospitals.

“If they can put on this beanie and kind of transform into a different world, even if it’s just for a few moments just to get away, I think that would just make them so happy,” Smitka said.

It’s a special gift that also brings a sense of bravery.

“I will start by saying these are a lot of work, but I’ll be darned if it’s not worth every minute that we spend to see the look on these children’s faces when they open up their beanies,” Wilson said. “They just light up and they feel so brave and so beautiful by something so small.”

The Brave Beanie Project sends beanies to Geisinger hospitals in Danville and Hershey.

The group wants to grow, but to do so they need your help. If you’d like to volunteer or donate to their cause, send them a message on Facebook.

You can also donate to their GoFundMe page.

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