When Jenna Hoagland and her husband found out they were going to have a baby, they were thrilled.
“It was our first pregnancy, our first baby. We were very, very excited and I was very, very sick” laughed Jenna.
But halfway through the pregnancy, Jenna found out their baby, already named Calvin, was also sick. His brain was not developing. “The doctor told us, you are not going to have a healthy baby and your baby is not going to live,” said Jenna.
The doctor was right. Calvin was born very early and did not survive.
“We couldn’t help him or save him,” Jenna said. “There was nothing we could do. But it would have just been so nice to have something we could give him.”
Jenna longed for a tiny hat that would have fit Calvin’s head. The preemie clothes they had already bought for him were much too big. When they left the hospital, they went home with broken hearts and empty arms.
That simple wish for a baby hat gave her best friend Annie Willems an idea.
“Why not let Calvin’s name be something more,” said Annie.
That ‘something more’ became a new non-profit group called “Calvin’s Hats.”
With needles clicking, knitters in Oregon and across the country are now turning out tiny hats by the hundreds. They are so small that some fit snugly on a golf ball; others are the perfect size for a tiny tangerine. All are knit with love.
Joyce Fuller has made more than 50 of the hats.
“I’m very passionate about this,” Joyce said.
Terri Brown set a goal of knitting ten tiny hats a week.
“They say the worst thing is to lose a child,” said Brown.
The hats knit in Calvin’s name are collected and sent to hospitals, where they are offered to grieving parents.
“I didn’t want anyone else to walk away with nothing,” said Jenna.
To find out more about getting or making a hat, you can visit www.calvinshats.com.