The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

October 12, 2013

Hats for Hope still needs headwear

by Shannon Beamon, Staff Writer

Sunday, September 29, 2013 — After collecting thousands of hats for the Roy M. Hinson Cancer Center, the Hatley family is looking for ways to branch out.

“We’ve exhausted the go-out-and-ask-around way of doing things,” Tanya Hatley said.

Their organization, Hats for Hope, will have a hat drive 9 a.m. -noon Friday at Bethany United Methodist Church to bring in more donations.

“We take hats, scarves, wigs, anything that goes on your head,” Hatley said.

“I think we’ll start doing a drive March and September of every year so that we can keep it growing.”

Hatley isn’t sure about the exact number, but she thinks Hats for Hope has donated at least 2,000 hats to the cancer center since it began in 2011.

“But they’re all gone, they’ve all been used up. A lot of patients only go through there. There’s always new people,” Hatley said.

Hatley first realized this need for hats when her husband was going to Stanly Regional Medical Center for cancer treatments.

“Even before my husband had cancer, there was a lady at our church who was going through chemotherapy. She lost her hair and all the ladies started wearing hats so she wouldn’t be alone.”

Hatley brought a couple of those Sunday hats to the cancer center as a donation.

“They had done so much for us and I just wanted to give a little back. When I brought those hats in they were so excited. They said they didn’t have any hats. They always needed hats. That’s what got it all started.”

Hatley said that word about their organization spread mostly through word of mouth. She asked people to take fliers to church or to work.

“I’ve been going to churches to let them know about it. One church, Cottonville A.M.E. Zion Church, got together over 300 hats. It was amazing.”

The organizaton has also recieved help from the American Cancer Society, which Hatley and her husband both volunteer for, and from SRMC.

“The American Cancer Society designed the fliers and we’ve had staff at the hospital volunteer to hang them up. I go over to radiology and they print off the fliers,” Hatley said.

“Those people down there are wonderful. I can’t tell you how good they were, not just the staff but the patients, too. This isn’t much to give back, but maybe it’ll make a little bit of difference.”

Hatley said donations made to Hats for Hope don’t have to be new. Lightly used hats and head accessories are welcome, too.

“Everything is washed before it goes down there so that when they get it, it’s ready to wear,” Hatley said.

To submit story ideas, contact Shannon Beamon at (704) 982-2121 ext. 24 or at shannon@stanlynews