Newborns given red hats as part of American Heart Month


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – According to the American Heart Association, out of every 1,000 births, eight babies will have some kind of heart disorder. The unknowns give way to a tough detour. “Specifically for parents who have a baby that’s born with a congenital heart defect, it’s just so unknown. You don’t know what’s going to happen to that baby, you don’t know the lifespan of that baby,” Florence Bear said.

A congenital heart defect means the heart isn’t working as it should. According to Bear, it’s the leading cause of birth defects throughout the nation. To create discussion, the association passes out little red hats to every newborn in the area. “It’s all based on trying to raise awareness for congenital heart defects,” she said.

Volunteers in the community made the hats. All together 1,600 were collected in Northeast Indiana. About 300 of those came from Star Financial, a local partner in the campaign. “Being involved in our community is important to Star and we know it’s important to our employees as well as our customers because we had several customers who would bring in bags of these,” Melissa Schenkel said.

Employees also helped make the hats, with different design options and sizes. “A couple of our employees came during their lunch break and sat and crocheted hats for several days to become a part of this program,” Schenkel said.

This is the second year the bank has participated. Employees said it’s one way to connect with the community, and it’s all part of a good cause. “We have a heart for Fort Wayne, right? So, no better partner than to partner with the American Heart Association.”

If you’re wanting to make a hat, you’ll have to wait until next year. The association is done collecting for this year, with more than 200,000 red hats already donated accross the country.

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