Torrance is a city blessed with strong nonprofit organizations that understand the communities’ needs and the best ways in which to meet those needs. Happy Hats for Kids in Hospitals was founded in 1991 by Sheri Waldstein. Waldstein’s younger brother, father, grandmother, and mother succumbed to cancer. The heartbreak was almost too much for Waldstein to bear, but instead of wallowing in grief, she used it as a springboard for action.
A hat designer by profession, Waldstein decorated one hundred whimsical hats and personally presented the hats to hospitalized children in Los Angeles fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The creative hats changed the usually somber atmosphere of a critically ill Pediatric Ward into a brighter place. To date, Happy Hats for Kids in Hospitals has uplifted the spirts of more than 1.2 million hospitalized kids and their families.
“The outcome of a child receiving the hat is simply not the hat, but all the people who volunteered their time in creating the hat. Each hat must be cut, sewn, decorated and pass quality control. A minimum of three to four volunteers creates each handmade hat,” smiled Waldstein. Volunteers are comprised of individuals from the Volunteer Center, Volunteer Match, and nursing students from West Coast University. Additionally, Happy Hats encourages hands-on service projects by scouts, church groups, women’s clubs, and service clubs. Through these empowering experiences, each participant decorates whimsical Happy Hats and writes a heartwarming message tucked into each hat. These hats are given to hospitalized children throughout the United States, Israel, and other countries.
For businesses, groups, and teams looking for a way to give back to their community, Happy Hats for Kids in Hospitals has a fantastic morale-boosting experience. By donating and participating with Happy Hats for Kids in Hospitals, Waldstein will lead a two-hour workshop at a business or the Happy Hats facility. Each participant will create hats to be delivered or shipped to local hospitals.
Throughout my tour, I was reminded by the enthusiastic words spoken by each employee how important this line of work is to each of them. Happy Hats for Kids is an organization that truly uplifts the spirits, eases fears, and brings happiness and smiles to hospitalized children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce appreciate Happy Hats for Kids in Hospitals longtime membership and extends best wishes for continued growth and success.
Happy Hats for Kids is located at 923 Van Ness Avenue in Torrance. Contact information: 310.787.0970 and www.happyhatsforkids.com