Volunteers Crochet to Educate New Parents About Heart Health

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NEWFIELD, N.J. -

The American Heart Association plans on recognizing next month’s American Heart Month by giving out kits to new mothers at hospitals across the nation.

“Within that kit, they’ll receive heart-healthy recipes, tips about how to take care of themselves, [and] they also receive info about children’s heart health,” said Aimee Minarich, Survivor Ambassador for the American Heart Association – New Jersey.

Along with the information, they’ll receive a little hat as part of the AHA Little Hats Big Hearts program.

“What it does is raise awareness about congenital heart defects," said Minarich. "But it also empowers families, in particular women, how to make a healthy lifestyle for their families.”

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Thirty-four years ago, Jill Place gave birth to a baby boy with a congenital heart defect; a year later he passed away. She’s learned a lot about the heart since her son was born and now she wants to give back.

“This was a very personal thing; I really wanted to do this because I really think the American Heart Association is a great organization and it helps a lot of people who really don’t know a lot about the heart,” said Place.

She’s crocheted dozens of little red hats in the past two years after hearing about Little Hats Big Hearts from Minarich.

“I don’t crochet, I don’t knit, but there [are] a lot of people I know who do," said Minarich. "I was able to reach out to a ton of people, they were more than willing to help out the cause."

And if you’re not the most creative type, the American Heart Association encourages you to donate some red yarn to help keep the crocheting going.

“It may seem little," said Place, "but I think — it’s something that touches my heart, and I hope that it touches other people’s hearts, too — that they realize it’s someone who cares and someone cares about them and their children.”

Thanks to many generous donations, the American Heart Association – New Jersey will be handing out more than 3,000 hats at 30 hospitals next month.

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