variety of knitted hats for charity
21 September 2018

Foundation at Play: Crocheting for a Cause

handmade knitted hats donated to babies in University Hospital's NICU

Ever wonder what the Foundation employees get up to in their free time? In our new series “Foundation at Play” we’re taking an inside look at all the employee-run clubs that call Foundation Software home — starting with the crochet and knitting club whose handmade goods are donated to babies in University Hospital’s NICU.

Run by programmer/analyst, Mary Campagna, the crochet and knitting club began as a way for her, and others, to give back to local hospitals. “My son was born a preemie 27 years ago,” Mary explains. “He received a knitted hat along with great care by Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital staff.”

So, as a way to repay the care her son had received, she started crocheting similar hats for other preemies on her own. However, she felt like she could be doing more. “I thought instead of just me, maybe some other fellow crafters would like to join in and we could send a lot more hats.”

Currently, the club has 15 members of varying skill levels that meet every Friday afternoon to chat and hone their craft. “Those that want to, create hats during our meeting,” Mary says. “Some just work on personal projects, like blankets, that are easier for beginners. It’s a very easy-going environment.”

Mary reveals they’ve also set their sights on doing more for other charities. “During the month of May, the American Heart Association has a program where they provide red hats to all the babies born that month as a reminder to the mothers to take care of their own hearts.” It’s an awareness event she plans to bring up for group discussion so members can get started early.

Which is important since many members are dedicated to the cause, meeting or no. “We do have some crafters that do not attend the meeting, but still like to make hats and contribute. I keep a box in my office by the door and they will just drop them in the box when they are done,” Mary says of her fellow crafty members. “When it gets to at least 50, I box them up and send them to my contact at University Hospitals.”

With 250 hats made to date, the club has made good on their commitment to give back, but they show no signs of stopping.