ARKANSAS CANCER PROJECT GOING STRONG
Twelve years after its beginning, home-grown “Care Cap Connections™” regular teams in Fairfield Bay, Hot Springs Village, Diamond Head, Greenbrier, Little Rock, Jacksonville and augmentation groups in Clinton (County Extension), Holiday Hills, Mount Eagle and San Antonio have produced over 80,000 head scarves for women and girls in chemotherapy.
Care Cappers regularly meet for “sew-ins” at the Natural State six locations under the leadership of Fairfield Bay founder, Mary Philips. Mary directs volunteers along a “production line” from cutting, pinning and sewing to ironing and packaging caps. All garments are given to major cancer centers for distribution and to individuals met in their everyday life.
From the original cap made by Mary for her sister, Linda, now-deceased, shipments go to 23 clinics—a few recipients are St. Vincent, CARTI, UAMS, St. Jude, MD Anderson, Mayo, VA, and universities at Florida, Iowa, Michigan and Washington State.
Care Caps are made from Mary’s own pattern. They are sewn to her friendly-but-demanding standard in the group setting. Usually, sew-ins meet on a specific day and time of the month for about 5 hours. Volunteers come and go during the sessions. Sewing machines, fabrics and notions are provided. While women helpers provide the main force, some men are present to sew and perform various side tasks and to set up/take down equipment. About 20-30 volunteers compose a “good” number for producing about 100-125 caps. There is no limit on the number made each time as the larger cancer centers need and want many more than Care Caps can send. Garments are soft, bright cottons with a signed tag in each bag.
The organization does not ask its volunteers for funding. Over the years, word-of-mouth and publicity has made the project known. The association is on solid financial footing. What are always needed are more volunteers—whether they sew or not. Each team welcomes new members—come once, see the friendliness, share the worthy task—consider being a regular partner.
Email [email protected] for more information.