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Hats off to UCOP knitters who made 950 caps for premature babies

Tiny hats volunteers with hats

Just some of the many knitters and hats: (Top Row, L to R) Wanda Tong, Julie Miller, Sandi Hollenbough, Christina Shallow, and Rita Hao (Bottom Row, L to R) Thu Nyguyen, Aimee Chang, Annette Hayes, Christine Hoy

“When I semi-jokingly announced that the 2018 goal was 750 hats, everyone thought I was nuts,” said Julie Miller, legal systems analyst in the Office of the General Counsel (OGC). “But I knew this group could — and would — step up to the challenge.”

The UCOP Knit/Crochet group followed through on Miller’s challenge and knitted over 950 hats for the Tiny Hats for Tiny Babies project. With support from UC Irvine, UC Riverside and UCSF as well as multiple departments across UCOP, the group far exceeded the 140 hats they knitted last year for the UCSF and Warm Up America Foundation-sponsored program.

“This is a such a heartwarming project. I was really amazed that we surpassed our target of 750 because truthfully even that felt like a stretch,” said Christina Shallow, financial services analyst in OGC.

A partnership of UCSF’s East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative and the Warm Up America! Foundation, the Tiny Hats for Tiny Babies initiative collects handmade hats for premature babies born in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. The 2018 campaign of Tiny Hats for Tiny Babies aims to collect 17,000 hats. Last year UCSF received over 16,000 hats after setting a goal of just 1,117 in honor of World Prematurity Day on Nov. 17 (11/17).Tiny hats with notesHundreds of tiny hats on tableIn late June, the UCOP Knit/Crochet group invited all interested OP staff to a 2018 kick-off potluck. Led by the Office of the General Counsel, many UCOP departments worked towards the group’s very ambitious goal of 750 hats. Knitters from UC Riverside and UCSF also contributed caps, while an attorney at UC Irvine helped coordinate the process.

Tiny hat volunteers with packages

(L to R) Christina Shallow, Sandi Hollenbough and Julie Miller leave the OGC offices to drop off all the hats at UCSF, which will ship them to Africa.

“It has been an amazing effort by all,” OGC Legal Support Specialist Sandi Hollenbough said. “This project is a beautiful way to help make the world a bit better.

Deputy General Counsel Geoff Gibbs also applauded the volunteers for creating almost one thousand tiny hats for tiny babies. “This is an amazing project that truly represents the best of OGC and UCOP.”

HUGE thanks to all the knitters of the tiny hats!

From UCOP and UCPath Center:

  • Aimee Chang
  • Alison Schnabel
  • Alleen Zulkowski
  • Allison Page
  • Anne Phelps
  • Annette Hayes
  • Chew Ling
  • Christina Shallow
  • Christine Moy Harmon
  • Cris Buckley
  • Debbie Deas
  • Debbie Potter
  • Doris Wildeman
  • Jan Kehoe
  • Janet Norris
  • Janine Ford Crocker
  • Jenia Sevillano
  • Jihee Lee
  • Juanita Muniz-Torres
  • Julie Felkins
  • Julie Miller
  • Karen Vecchi
  • Katie Fortney
  • Kerry Meech
  • Kimberly Grant
  • Lesley Clark
  • Mindy Matthews
  • Rita Hao
  • Rosalia Lam
  • Sandra Hollenbaugh
  • Susan Whitney
  • Thu Nguyen
  • Tiffany Wilson
  • Tracy Babbitt
  • Valerie Marble
  • Virginia O’Connor
  • Wanda Tong

From UC Riverside:

  • Alison Schnabel

From UCSF:

  • Aleah Sparks
  • Hannah Park
  • Michelle Cai

Comments ( 3 )

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  1. Rudell White November 13, 2018 Reply

    I am a new employee to UCOP and used to knit hats for premature babies. I am just learning of the many positive motivating things UCOP staff does. I am very interested in continuing to knit hats. May I join please?

    • Michelle Simone January 31, 2019 Reply

      Apologies for the delay in responding. Welcome to UC! We have many staff affinity groups that you might want to check out. View the information and contacts online here.

  2. John Ruzicka November 13, 2018 Reply

    Hats off to everyone who made this happen! It’s a really heartwarming story about a small gesture that means a lot to so many.

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