Talented hands create hats for sick infants

By Holly Gaddy

In a truly heartwarming collaboration, the Knit Wits group at Edgemere — a colorful collective of ladies residing at the premier senior living community — has turned its attention to a new cause to create homemade caps for infants facing heart problems, in partnership with Children’s Health in Dallas.

Every Friday, the Knit Wits come together to knit and lend a hand.
Photos courtesy of Edgemere

Their latest project is the brainchild of Edgemere resident and Knit Wits member Mary Ann Stover, who sought to extend the group’s skills to benefit the community. In conversation with her daughter, Catherine Ikemba, a cardiologist at Children’s Health, she was introduced to Betsy Beall, a certified child life specialist at the hospital.

“Mary Ann reached out to me about the possibility of the Knit Wits knitting hats for our infant population in the heart center,” Beall said. “We spoke about the vision for this initiative, and how we would utilize the hats across the heart center.”

That was about a year and a half ago, and the two have been in touch ever since, coordinating the number of hats to be knitted and when they are delivered. Stover noted the group makes about 30 baby caps, which are delivered to the center every three months.

“The caps are themed around the holidays,” Stover said, with designs evoking autumn, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the Fourth of July, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, spring, etc. Beall said the caps have become a colorful symbol of hope and joy for the center’s littlest patients and their families — while playing a crucial role in fostering the bond between infants and caregivers.

“The hats provide an additional way for our infants and caregivers to bond and bring a sense of normalcy to an otherwise clinical environment,” Beall explained. “Caregivers are able to wear the hat on their body to transfer their scent before placing the hat back on the baby, encouraging bonding and easing the infant’s stress.”

Beall said the collaboration has had an “overwhelmingly positive impact” on the center’s infant population, noting one example of an infant in admission for nearly a year.

“Throughout the infant’s admission, many holidays were celebrated. At times, this infant was too critical to be dressed up for holiday photos the family had planned. Thanks to the generosity of the Knit Wits, our team was able to provide the family with an appropriately themed infant hat the family could use for their photos and holiday celebrations,” she said. “I have loved working with Mary Ann and the Knit Wits and seeing the joy and comfort their initiative has brought to our patients and families.”

In addition to partnering with Children’s Health, members of the Knit Wits have worked diligently for more than a decade to support organizations that make a difference in the lives of others, both locally and abroad. Every Friday, they come together to knit and lend a hand. Throughout the years, they’ve crafted thousands of items, bringing warmth and support to causes such as the children of Ukraine and beyond — interlacing love and service one yarn loop at a time.

“It is truly an inspiration to watch the Knit Wits work and consistently seek new opportunities to serve the greater community,” said John Falldine, executive director of Edgemere. “They’ve proven that a simple act of kindness can make such a difference in the lives of those facing challenging circumstances.”