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UCOP’s Office of the General Counsel makes 140 hats for premature babies

Front row (from left): Julie Miller, Sandi Hollenbaugh, Debbie Potter, Christina Shallow. Back row (from left): Thu Nguyen, Christine Moy Harmon, Cris Buckley.


It’s hard to arrive in this world early. You’re incredibly small, you need all the help you can get, and keeping warm can be a real problem. Fortunately, UCOP’s Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is on the case.

“We found out about UCSF’s Tiny Hats campaign about a month ago and our lunchtime knitting club took up the project,” said Christina Shallow, who helped coordinate the effort. “Before we knew it, we had knitted and crocheted 140 preemie hats! We were thrilled to do this. To think that those hats may save a preemie’s life just warms our hearts.”

A partnership of UCSF’s East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative and the Warm Up America! Foundation, the Tiny Hats for Tiny Babies initiative has been soliciting handmade hats for premature babies born in health facilities in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. In recognition of World Prematurity Day on Nov. 17, UCSF set a goal to collect 1,117 hats by that date. As of Oct. 23, they’d already received 1,800, with more pouring in. OGC’s own bundle of joy was delivered to UCSF on Nov. 2.

The dedicated group who created the 140 caps consisted of Cris Buckley, Julie Felkins, Rita Hao, Christine Moy Harmon, Annette Hayes, Sandi Hollenbaugh, Jan Kehoe, Julie Miller, Debbie Potter, Christina Shallow and Karen Vecchi. Other OGC staff supported the effort by contributing tools or materials, or offering their encouragement, guidance or time.

“This was a such a great experience for me,” said Hollenbaugh. “It was a joy to see how our group stepped up and challenged each other to produce as many hats as possible. I personally pushed my knitting skills as I had never made a hat before, let alone something so small! I enjoyed every minute of this project and the fact that we were able to provide so many with something so small and beautiful – it was inspiring!”


The bundle of joy, ready to be delivered to UCSF.


The crafters marvel at how tiny the hats are.


Link thanks Angela Hom for photos and reporting for this story.

Comments ( 7 )

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  1. Karen Pollack November 7, 2017 Reply

    What a most fabulous effort by a wonderful group of women!!!

  2. Tracy B. November 7, 2017 Reply

    Such an awesome endeavor! I’d love to contribute if you take on this task in the future.

  3. Jihee Lee November 7, 2017 Reply

    Would love to participate if they do it again next year and open to others!

  4. Nancy Hamill November 7, 2017 Reply

    These women know how to inspire and boost morale. I feel lucky to get to work with them and learn from them!

  5. Melanie Wise November 7, 2017 Reply

    Dear UCOP,

    Thank you so much for your contribution to the Tiny Hats campaign and for spreading the word through your newsletter. Thanks to you and the efforts of knitters and crocheters across the globe, we are on track to beat our goal by 10X. We at PTBi-EA send our deepest appreciation on behalf of tiny babies in East Africa, who will stay warm and healthy dressed in your tiny hats.

    Melanie Wise, Communications Director
    UCSF East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative

  6. Lena Zentall November 8, 2017 Reply

    A retired member of the California Digital Library, Margery Tibbetts knitted some tiny hats to contribute to the cause. Thanks, Margery!!

  7. Randi Jenkins November 9, 2017 Reply

    Way to go! That is awesome! =)

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