Every year since 2013, Shaker High School senior Jeremy Wernick has hosted “Hatsgiving,” an annual hat drive that takes place in October and November to provide soft, warm hats for children who are battling cancer.
“I always would shave my head as fall would come to a close and go into winter, so I realized how cold my head got,” Jeremy said. “I went up to my parents to see what we could think of, and we decided on collecting hats for children undergoing chemotherapy.”
Jeremy started this project in elementary school and says it’s never been about him and the attention he receives each year, but about those who receive the hats.
“It’s a lot less about what it means to me and a lot more of what it means to the kids,” Jeremy said. “I haven’t been able to talk to them a lot, but last year I was fortunate enough to work with one of the kids who had gotten hats in prior years and he said the hats gave him the confidence to keep going.”
People can donate new hats to any Recovery Sports Grill in the area or Sunmark Federal Credit Union location. Anyone who would like to participate is also encouraged to start their own collections for the drive, while following COVID protocols. All hats can be dropped off until Tuesday, Nov. 24 before Thanksgiving at those locations.
Since 2013, Hatsgiving has distributed over 18,000 hats to 60 pediatrict treatment centers in 43 states plus Washington DC. For more information, visit www.hatsgiving.org.