BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Stockdale High juniors Vincent Li and Denize Orhan volunteered at hospitals last summer, seeing families in the NICU firsthand.
"I noticed that the babies’ hats were always very thin and I saw a lot of them shivering, crying a lot. I thought that it would be a great project to start knitting thicker beanies for them," said Vincent.
Madhatter Knits is a global organization that provides knitted beanies for premature babies in the hospital. With the help of fellow National Honors Society members, they’re working as the Bakersfield chapter to help local families.
“It was really easy to just spread the word of the event and many of our members thought it was a great cause so they decided to support us and knit beanies for us” said Vincent.
“Just knowing that the babies who might not have the best hats at the hospital are getting these hats handmade by all the volunteers is just really heartwarming and it really feels like we’re connecting the community through making these beanies,” said Denize,
NHS president Nathan Chen said it’s not surprising how many students stepped up.
“All of our members are really passionate about helping out the community so I thought it was just really good that everybody came and helped," said Chen.
Stockdale junior Christine Ziemann said it’s a lot fun.
“Vincent taught me a couple months ago how to knit. I love it so much so I've been knitting nonstop since then,” she said. “It really connects you and gets you thinking about community involvement. [It's] a lot of hard work but it's also really rewarding at the end of the day."
They’ve made about 170 beanies so far and want it to remain an ongoing project, donating to even more hospitals and maternity centers.
Anyone in the community can make the beanies. Visit them on Instagram to learn more.
Denize said she hopes the families that use these beanies know they care.
“We just want them to know that they're supported and that they're loved and [it's] going to be okay, and that we're here to help them and their babies by knitting for them," she said.
Nathan said the NHS students are more than happy to volunteer with organizations across Kern County. Click here if you’d like to get in touch.