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Volunteer Your Time and Talent

Caring Hearts & Hands volunteers work at home or as part of a community group to make hats, sweaters and blankets for our tiniest patients at Women & Infants.

Preventing hypothermia in babies is the focus of our program. Hats in soft colors adorning the babies in the well-baby nurseries, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Special Care Nurseries are a hallmark of a visit to see our little patients. These hats prevent the loss of body heat during a time when the babies are trying to maintain their body temperature. The hats later serve to keep a baby warm when they are taken outside and then become mementos of the baby's birth.

Hat patterns fit an average size baby. They are cuffed or un-cuffed, depending on the baby's size. Caps in soft pastel colors are most versatile. Baby yarn is preferred because hats conform better to the tiny heads, but any soft, washable yarn is acceptable.

Some volunteers make small quilts which are used in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where our premature and sick babies may have an extended stay. The quilts are used to keep light out of the isolettes and add a warm touch to the unit.

Afghans are also distributed to patients in our Program in Women's Oncology to keep them warm during long chemotherapy treatments.

Donating Items

If you are making a donation, please fill out a Contribution Form to document your name, contact information and a total of donated items. If you are delivering more than one package, please be sure each has a name and number of items securely attached to each. After your first delivery, we will assign you an ID number to make it easier for us to track donations and to say thank you!

Feel free to use your patterns or download one of the patterns we provide. Here is a Seasonal Fall Hat pattern as well.

Where Do I Bring My Items?

You can deliver your handmade articles to Volunteer Services located at 300 Richmond Street, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. A cart is located in the lobby of the 300 Richmond Street building for your convenience. Your dropped off donations will be secure. Again, please be sure that your name, address, and telephone number are included with each bag that is donated.

If you wish to meet with a member of the Volunteer Services Department, please call in advance at (401) 274-1122, ext. 42255 to ensure someone is available to assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hats for the full-term babies are needed the most. These should measure no more than six inches in length and we suggest the circumference be no more than 14 inches. Keep in mind that a hat can never be too small, but can be too big for this newborn program.

Yes, however our current donations of these are more than adequate for our needs.

Unfortunately, storage does not allow for this and we cannot distribute such donations appropriately.

An appropriately sized quilt would measure 40 inches by 40 inches or close to it. These quilts are used to drape over the babies’ isolettes.

We need afghans that measure 24 to 30 inches wide by 32 to 36 inches long for cribs, carriages and car seats.

You can use any type of yarn, with the exceptions of wool or anything that sheds like eyelash or fun yarn. We prefer baby soft or sport yarn in pastel colors.

No, except a tightly secured pom-pom. Pins or decals should not be used ever.

No there is no need as babies are adjusting to the environment. Clean, new yarn does not pose a risk.

Yes, but please be sure your finished hat measures no more than six inches in length with a circumference no more than 14 inches.

The focus of this program is for our newborn babies, however, we can send any adult items to our Program in Women’s Oncology. Please make note in your delivery of your intention for such a donation.

Please mail packages to: Women & Infants Hospital Volunteer Services Department, 101 Dudley St., Providence, RI 02905.