How it all Started

PicMonkey Collage

The idea for Passing the Hat started when an acquaintance from high school reached out on Facebook stating she was coming to Dallas for her daughter to be treated for cancer. I answered her and found out what colors her daughter liked best. Of course it was pink and purple. I knitted a few hats for her and for some of the other children on the floor she was on. Being stuck in a hospital bed is not fun. I asked her to get out of bed and hand the hats out to the other kids on her floor. It helped her and brought a smile to her face and Passing the Hat was born.

At the same time Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas was opening their new cancer center. I went into the Cvetko Education Center and asked if I could teach their cancer patients and survivors to knit hats for their patients on chemotherapy. They loved the idea and in March 2001 the program Passing the Hat started. I wanted the patients to make a hat while being infused (because infusion can take many hours) and Pass the Hat to the person sitting next to them. Since then the name changed to Passing Hats and we became recognized as a 501c3.

We started with 8 individuals knitting 35-40 hats per month and I was thrilled. Since then we have grown and are now averaging 250 hats being made per week. There are currently 11 locations making hats and a hand full of individuals by knitting, crocheting and looming. Hats are now being distributed to over 50 locations in Texas where cancer patients are being treated. We confine to grow each Day and I thank everyone who has helped this idea turn into a heartwarming and head warming outreach program. ~ Ellen