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Volunteers sew kid-friendly surgical caps for Driscoll patients

Posted at 9:13 AM, Nov 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-25 10:53:54-05

It all started with a Facebook post.

One day Driscoll Children's Hospital volunteer Beverly Frontera was browsing Facebook when she came across an article that caught her eye.

In the article, a nurse from Rochester, N.Y. was asking the public for help sewing kid-friendly surgical caps for kids.

"Oh, I thought that would be a great project for Driscoll to make the kids a little happier when they have to go into surgery!" she said.

She took the instructions to Driscoll Children's Hospital Volunteer Coordinator Andrea Czartoryski, and she ran with it from there.

They determined they would need a few months supply to get the program started.

"We asked Beverly if she thought she'd be able to go to her sewing groups and be able to collect at least 1,200 caps to start the program, and within the matter of a few months they had over 1,200 caps ready for us," Czartoryski said. "So we were able to begin."

These aren't just any old surgical caps. These are special. These caps are sewn from material featuring kid-friendly designs.

"We choose what's trending now, like "Frozen" and "Batman" or "Spider-man," said Frontera. "We make the caps out of material they like, so they get to pick a cap, and then they feel good about that. Plus, they can take their cap home with them and use them on their teddy bears and dolls when they're done."

Hospitals, especially operating rooms, can be a frightening place for children. The colorful, happy caps give children a distraction from an otherwise, stressful situation.

Allowing them to pick their own cap also gives them a feeling of being in control.

"One of the nurses has told us that before she had a little bit of trouble getting the patients to keep the caps on their head just because it wasn't comfortable, and now that they have something that they get to choose with a material that's fun, like superheroes or puppies and kittens," Czartoryski said. "They really enjoy wearing them."

Frontera said since the surgical cap project began at Driscoll Children's Hospital, she has made about 100 caps.

This is a group effort: Between Beverly, her friends at the Coastal Bend Quilters and Needlework Guild, the After-hours Quilters and generous crafters from across the country, thousands of surgical caps have been donated to the children at Driscoll.

The hospital goes through about 100-150 caps a week, so the need is always there.

"Anyone who has any interest in sewing, cutting, or donating fabric from anywhere just please do," Frontera said.

If you want to sew surgical caps for the patients at Driscoll Children's Hospital, there are a few guidelines: The caps must be sewn from 100 percent cotton; glittery fabric is not allowed and caps do not need to be washed. The hospital will wash them upon delivery.

Fabric patterns that are most popular include: Disney, football, baseball, puppies, kittens, horses and superheroes. Keep in mind that, not only young children, but also pre-teens and teens will be receiving the caps, so some designs can include professional sports teams, flowers; any designs that pre-teens and teen would like.

For a link to instructions for sewing the caps, visit:

https://www.driscollchildrens.org/giving/volunteer/ways-to-help/sewn-special