Wheeling Jesuit University

Knit One, Save One

Employees, led by professor Julie Osland, have been busy creating and collecting tiny caps for premature babies as part of the international Save the Children effort.

WHEELING, WV, Jan. 17, 2011 — Wheeling Jesuit employees collected 205 caps for premature babies so far this winter and are closing in on their ultimate goal of 250. Many employees knit or crochet the tiny hats. Others have family and friends that are busy helping the effort with their knitting needles and crochet hooks.

Hats for premature babies are important aids in maintaining body temperature for these little ones and save lives. Wheeling Jesuit's efforts are part of the international Save the Children Caps for Good Campaign.

"Besides the obvious good that this project does, it's also a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn in a productive way," said Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Julie Osland, an avid knitter. "This is a good way to enjoy your hobby -- or learn a new one -- while serving others at the same time." (Julie Osland (left) is shown here with professor Debra Hull, both contributed many hats to the effort.)

The Caps for Good Campaign ends on Feb. 28, so there's still time to contribute to the cause.

Save the Children works to decrease the number of newborn, infant and child deaths worldwide. This is the second time that Wheeling Jesuit employees have donated to the effort.

The world loses more than 3.5 million newborns a year, according to UNICEF, and most of those deaths are preventable.

Simple, cheap, well-known interventions can keep those babies alive — no miracle drugs are needed, no brave-new-world breakthroughs. If a birth attendant is there for the delivery, if the mother starts breastfeeding right away, if the baby gets an inexpensive tetanus shot and if someone tells the mother how to keep the umbilical cord clean and how to keep the baby warm, the newborn’s chances of survival skyrocket.

What most moms around the world don’t know is that an infant needs a hat in order to stay warm, according to Save the Children.

Maternity wards in the United States regularly put little caps on the adorable little bundles sleeping there. Those caps are lifesavers and the Caps for Good Campaign inspires people throughout the country to knit and crochet them to help keep babies alive around the world.

For more information about the Caps For Good Campaign, contact Dr. Osland at 304-243-2329.


605 hats in all were created and donated. Many employees knitted or crocheted the tiny hats. Others had family and friends helping with the effort. Even the community got involved, according to Osland.

"The newspaper coverage of our effort helped and we have now received hats from over a dozen contributors who read about it in the paper," said Osland on Feb. 23 as she prepared to ship the donations. Individuals from all over the valley contributed, she added, thanking them all for their work.

Darlene Baker, Barbara Bartnicki, Carolyn Conner, Jo Helms, Helen Hopkins, Estelle Krahel, Maria Ebbert, Carolyn Hartline, Sister Norberta, Betty and Helen Norden, Jennifer Hastings Schunn, Renče Warnock, Eleanor Williamson and Jewel Yeary are some of the area residents who helped out.

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