Two gals from Marion did their part this past year making purple baby hats to raise awareness for shaken baby syndrome. Kathryn Hein, age 94, crocheted 107 baby hats in the past few months for the Period of Purple Crying organization. Emmy Hess, age 12, did her part as well, crocheting five baby hats.
Hein and Hess’s efforts, along with several other dedicated contributors, were recognized by statewide coordinator Anne Auld on Sept. 26 when she stopped at Down on the Corner in Marion to pick up the community’s collection of crocheted and knitted hats.
“This is a grassroots effort to raise awareness for parents of newborn babies that there is a period from two weeks to two months when they can expect a lot of excessive crying,” Auld said. “We send these purple hats home with the babies along with a DVD about the normalcy of purple crying, in hopes that we can prevent infant deaths.”
Hein said she became involved with the project because it gave her something to do, a mission that matched her talents.
“I am always crocheting something,” she said. “I might as well be making something useful that might even save a baby’s life.”
Hein said could make four or five purple baby hats per day. She prefers to use the dark purple yarn for a solid colored hat.
“I can get 13 hats out of one skein of yarn,” Hein said.
Hess, who just started crocheting this year, decided it was something she wanted to learn how to do after she saw a poster about making baby hats for the Period of Purple Crying effort.
“I asked Karen (Ehrlich) to teach me, and I really like doing it,” Hess said. “My older sister is going to have a baby soon and I can’t wait to see if the hats I am making will fit her baby.”
Hess, who made five baby hats, likes to use a variegated yarn with many shades of purple.
Ehrlich said 18 volunteers knitted or crocheted hats, and five others donated yarn for the area effort. Auld, along with her supervisor Samantha Cotton, and organizational support team member Kali Hamilton picked up 340 hats from the Marion store, before moving on to Hillsboro for more collections.
“We set a statewide goal of 7,000 hats for this year,” Auld said. “That will raise awareness for a lot of families with newborn babies.”
More information about the Period of Purple Crying movement is available at http//www.clickforbabies.org.