One Hat One Heart

After learning about the AIDS pandemic sweeping South Africa, veteran knitter Jennifer Traeger wanted to do something to help the orphans there. When she connected with Seeds of Light and learned that South Africa’s orphans suffer from cold winters, she was inspired to knit hats for them. “I remembered a beautiful Native American prayer, which says in part, ‘all children are our children, every child is our precious child’. She wanted the child receiving the hat to know that it had been made especially for him or her, so she attached a message for each child to the hats.”

Jennifer told her knitting group, Seeds of Light emailed their supporters, and word spread via knitting networks.  In a few months, hundreds of hats from around the world have poured in.

Jennifer says, “This project is about creating a bridge of caring and love between communities.  While a hat can’t change the life of a vulnerable child, the cumulative effects of these caring actions and intentions are profound.”

We call the project, “One Hat, One Heart”.

If you are a knitter or crocheter, or know someone who is who might want to get involved with the One Hat, One Heart project, contact Jennifer at

Advice to Hat Makers

    • We gladly accept handmade hats of any sort – knitted, sewn, or crocheted.
    • The winter season is June, July, and August. Temperatures in the winter months can drop into the low 40’s F.
    • All styles and colors are welcome. The more typical round stocking cap styles are the most popular among the children. Bright colors are popular with the children. Soft textures are appreciated.
    • Remember to create a tag for your hat. Please write a message to the child who will receive your hat. The message can be a greeting, a wish for the child, a blessing, a poem, etc., and sign your name. Click on the tag at the right to download a tag.
    • Size: During our first hat distribution, some of our hats were too small for the primary school aged children we serve. I recommend hat sizes between large child and small adult sizes. Below are some size references.
Download a One Hat One Heart tag
Child (3 – 10 years) Head Circumference: 19″ – 20 1/2″; Hat height =8.5 Pre-teens and Teens Head Circumference: 20 1/2″ – 22″; Hat height 9-10″ Adult Woman Head Circumference: 21.5″ – 22.5″; Hat height = 11″ Adult Man Head Circumference: 23″ – 24″; Hat height = 11″-11.5″
    • Helpful sites with patterns for children’s hats


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