20,000! Now that’s a lot of caps.
Resident volunteers of Cypress Cove at HealthPark Florida recently reached quite a momentous milestone, creating their 20,000th surgical cap for children at the nearby Golisano Children’s Hospital.
The “Caps for Kids” program, which began in October of 1999, aims to help make children’s hospital experiences a little easier.
Understandably, stomachs churn with nervousness for both children and parents as surgery time nears. Some of that nervousness, however, dissipates when nurses bring out a hatbox filled with the colorful cloth caps. Patients are invited to choose their favorite, and doctors and nurses join in the fun, too, each selecting a cap to don. Suddenly the operating room doesn’t seem so scary anymore.
The caps feature whimsical fabrics, printed with bright, cheery colors and figures. Volunteer staff at the hospital purchase and cut the fabric into circles and then Cypress Cove’s Caps for Kids team assembles the elastic-banded caps.
More than a dozen Cypress Cove resident volunteers participate each month in assembly of the caps. Those residents with sewing machines hem the circles and another crew of volunteers gathers once a month to thread elastic through the hems. The latter work becomes a social event, one of many for the residents who are known for donating their time for on and off campus projects.
“Our residents provide a combined 13,000 volunteer hours each year,” said Michele Wasserlauf, the executive director of the 48-acre Life Plan continuing care retirement community. “Cypress Cove generosity comes in many forms, and our Caps for Kids program is one of several meaningful volunteer gifting programs that we participate in with Lee Health.”