Kate McCasland, 16, of Midlothian has mobilized an army of volunteers over a two-year period to knit caps for infants in hospitals – a grand total of 6,400 caps.
Friday morning, McCasland was recognized by Trisha Puskar, associate director of Outreach-Newborn and Child Survival Campaign of the Save the Children organization in Washington, D.C., who presented the teen with a certificate of recognition at the Waxahachie Senior Center.
“I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Kate and all of the volunteers for your investment, creativity and sacrifice you’ve made for this project,” Puskar said to a group of volunteers at the center.
“This project is a wonderful opportunity to send a message of hope to other countries and to let them know that we here in America care about them. You all are really a part of saving lives and I commend you for this project, which is generational – young people and seniors working together for a common cause.
More than 1,500 of the caps are slated to be sent to countries including Vietnam and Ethiopia and will be utilized to keep newborns warm with the knitted baby caps.
And of the accolades that were presented at the ceremony in the large dining hall of the Senior Center, none was more passionate than Kate herself, who commended “her girls” for all their hard work.
“When I first met them, I knew it was going to be fun,” McCasland told the audience. “And the very thought of these hats being placed on the heads of babies in at least five different hospitals would make you so glad. I’m just so very proud of all of you.”
Sharon Kern, McCasland’s Girl Scout Gold Award project advisor, expressed her elation in the magnitude of the project.
“This project has just mushroomed into something that has gone far beyond our wildest imagination,” Kern said.
In a three-month span, volunteers at the senior centers in Waxahachie and Cedar Hill knitted more than 1,500 caps.
McCasland shared briefly what prompted her to tackle the project two years ago.
“I just wanted to do something to say ‘thank you’ to the staff at Harris Hospital 16 years ago that saved my life,” she said in reference to her being born 16 weeks early and weighing 1 pound and 7 ounces.”
The teen started with Covenant House in Waxahachie mobilizing a few volunteers to make caps and within a few months, her operation had expanded to hospitals in Waxahachie, Cleburne, Hillsboro, Ennis, Mansfield,
Kate’s parents, Eddie and Jane McCasland, were on hand for the ceremony and also Kate’s grandfather.
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