February is American Heart Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease. And of course, this is an important issue to raise awareness about at any time throughout the year. Here are five smart ways that you can use your crochet skills to join your community in raising awareness about heart health.
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The American Heart Association celebrates American Heart Month by donating knit and crocheted caps to newborns at participating hospitals in states across the US. Each baby gets a red hat as part of a campaign to raise awareness about heart disease.
They share, "Little Hats, Big Hearts™ started in February 2014 in Chicago, IL collecting 300 hats in the first year. The program has now expanded to 29 states."
Anyone who is interested in crocheting red hats for newborns can participate in this project. One woman has crocheted 300 hats for donation. The American Heart Association offers free pattern for a crochet newborn hat and a crochet preemie hat; you are not required to use these specific patterns if you have other red crochet hat patterns you prefer to use.
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HeartScarves was founded more than a decade ago by four dedicated women who wanted to bring comfort and care to women diagnosed with heart disease. Soft, soothing red handmade scarves are given to women along with information to help them navigate their disease. Volunteers are welcome to crochet red scarves for donation to this beautiful program.
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Lindsay Obermeyer is concerned about women's heart health and the risk of stroke. She notes that 795,000 people have a stroke each year in America. She is crocheting mandalas to represent the 1,600 stroke patients last year at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, but she's hoping to collect donated mandalas to represent every single one of the 795,000 stroke patients in the country as a way to visually represent the shocking nature of this disease. "By making them and sharing what you learn about heart disease, you can share information that may save another person," said LIndsay. "Just as crochet and knitting is a process in which each loop is dependent on the other for a stable fabric, I believe in applying that metaphor to our society. Our general good health means supporting each other and sharing vital info."
You can find more than 40 crochet mandala patterns here.
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Crochet Red with Stitch Red
Stitch Red was founded in 2012 as a campaign to raise awareness about heart health, specifically Women's Heart Health. Jimmy Beans Wool worked in collaboration with Heart Truth and numerous vendors and designers to spread the word about issues related to heart disease. Three pattern books - Crochet Red, Knit Red and Sew Red - were created through this campaign. The official campaign has ended but the books still offer stunning patterns. Crochet these patterns, let people on your social media know why you chose this book, and donate the items to the heart-related charity of your choice!Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Wear Red Crochet Accessories!
Donating items to these crochet organizations offers a great opportunity to do something hands-on to raise awareness about heart disease. But you can also raise awareness in your own sphere of influence.
February 5th is #GoRedWearDay when everyone is asked to wear red to raise awareness. You can participate in that day by wearing red crochet accessories.
You could also crochet red hearts and wear them as appliqués and jewelry on any day of the year; when people ask you about them, let them know why you're concerned about heart health!