HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - There are people in this world who see a need or people that could use help and step up to the plate. Ann Smith is one of them and WHNT NEWS 19 surprised her with $319. Michelle Martin nominated her. In her email, she wrote:
"Mrs. Ann Smith has a granddaughter that was battling cancer. After one of her treatments, she mentioned that her head was cold. She had lost her hair. Ann decided to crochet her a hat. Then she decided other patients could use a hat. It would be great to recognize her because she is always thinking of others."
"They're so stylish," says Jill Wilson, volunteer coordinator at Clearview Cancer Institute in Huntsville. "They're not just boring hats."
Dozens of colorful, crocheted hats cover a table at Clearview Cancer Institute.
"The ladies add broaches, flowers and scarves to dress them up," describes Wilson.
Eventually, the hats will be put in a big basket in the infusion area where treatments take place and patients will have their pick.
"Our patients have never looked so stylish," says Wilson.
Wilson can't say enough good things about Ann Smith.
"She is just wonderful," says Smith. "She's caring. She's committed. This is really her mission in life."
Smith spearheaded the effort, starting Hooks for Hope in 2013. Smith, along with a small group of women, meet once a month to drop off finished hats, scarves and blankets. For patients, the hats not only to cover their heads, but lift their spirits.
"We want to provide the patients with something so they know we think about them and pray for them," explains Smith.
Smith is in retirement, which means free time. It's time she puts to good use crocheting hats.
"Last year, I made a little over 900."
Smith is dexterous and devoted and the most rewarding part for her is this, "To see somebody walking through the lobby with one of my hats on."
Smith and the other women crochet close to 3,000 hats a year now. The $319 Pay it Forward cash will help buy yarn. If you'd like to donate yarn, there is a specific kind they use to be sensitive to the patients. For texture purposes, the brands Hooks for Hope prefers as follows:
- I Love this Yarn - Acrylic & Cotton
- Charisma - Acrylic only
If you'd like more information about Hooks for Hope, please call (256) 705-4224.