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Archive for the ‘Mad Hatter Day’ Category

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I have been receiving a lot of emails from schools, groups and companies, asking how to help spread awareness during September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  I thought it might be good to address that here on the blog.  First, check out our Get Involved section on the Hats Off For Cancer (HOC) Web site if you know how you want to help.  If you’re still unsure, keep reading.

One of the easiest and more impacting ways to get involved is by hosting a Mad Hatter Drive at your school or church, in your community, with an organization or at your place of work.

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There are a ton of different ideas for your drive listed in our e-packets.

  • Some that have been very successful for groups in the past include designating a “Hat Day” where you collect a $1 donation from each person that wears a hat for the day.
  • Another great idea for an elementary or middle school is asking everyone to bring in their craziest hat and put it on during an assembly, asking for a $1 donation for HOC, and then holding a “Hat Parade” outside so everyone can see the fun hats and handing out prizes in certain categories!
  • You can host a Mad Hatter tea party and charge admission, either a new hat or a couple of dollars.
  • Hat drives are also a great way to give back, asking everyone to bring in new, kid-friendly hats to give to HOC.
  • Some groups have held a Battle of the Bands or a local concert after school or at church and used the admission fees to donate to HOC.
  • High Schools and Colleges have challenged rival schools to a competition to see who can raise the most money or collect the most hats.
  • Contact your local grocery store about partnering to ask patrons to donate $1 and they can write their name on a hat cut-out and post them up in the store display area.
  • Church groups and civic organizations and groups can knit or crochet soft hats.
  • Schools have used assembly time to show the HOC PSA and music video as a way to help everyone understand a little more about cancer and who is being helped through volunteering for Hats Off For Cancer.
  • Companies can give workers additional casual day passes for those that have participated in a donation or hat drive, or hold a golf outing with your company as the sponsor.
  • Everyone can get involved by hosting a virtual fundraiser through our online donation page where you can set up your very own page for Hats Off For Cancer and send the link out to family and friends.
  • You can find more ideas based on your type of group and event by visiting the Get Involved section of our Web site: Get Involved.

Truly, the opportunities are endless.  However, the most important part to remember is that you’re helping to spread awareness of this terrible disease, and you’re encouraging others to donate in a very simple, but in a way that is very meaningful and important to those benefiting from it.

Ultimately, one of the goals of Hats Off For Cancer is that everyone who participates in or coordinates an event, realizes how easy it is to give back, and uses this as a springboard to continue seeking out opportunities to give back to others in need.

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Here is a fun way to promote awareness. Just share this photo on your facebook page or tweet it to your followers!

Remember, getting involved can be as easy as you want it to be, but the impact can be felt for the rest of your life.

Thank you for reading and we hope you’ll consider joining us in bringing some much needed awareness to the courageous kids and teens who are battling and have battled cancer!

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This week we would like to honor our HOC Hero of the Week, John “PJ” Combs, a 16-year-old who is currently battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia since he was 14.

PJ has been through a lot in his short life including more than 30 admits to the hospital, septic shock, pancreatitis, feeding tubs, upper and lower endoscopy, fevers, 50+ units of blood, 150+ units of platelets, an implanted port, IV antibiotics at home and the hospital, x-rays, ultrasounds, echo-cardiograms, having to learn to walk all over again, cranial radiation, chemo through IV, his spine and orally, and much more during the past two and a half years.

PJ is a fighter, though!

His mom, Elisabeth, said:

Doctors told me two and a half years ago that he might not live BUT he is still here and fighting so hard!

PJ never complains and tries to make everyone around him happy.

He is an inspiration to me and everyone he meets. He touches people to the deepest depths of their hearts with his strength and loving disposition.

I am his mother and he is MY hero and always will be.

To keep up to date on PJ’s fight, you can visit his CaringBridge page.

PJ, we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.  You are our HOC Hero!

If you know a child or teen who is battling or has battled cancer and you want to nominate them for our next HOC Hero of the Week, tell us about your hero and include photos and any links to their pages so we can support them!  Fill out the nomination form here: http://hatsoffforcancer.org/nominate-hero

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It’s always inspiring when cancer patients, cancer survivors, or parents/family members of cancer patients volunteer to coordinate a drive for Hats Off For Cancer.  We were delighted to hear from Angela Franchino, a current cancer patient from Denver, Colorado, who held a drive in her area with Tarver Elementary, Colorado Center, and ReadyTalk.  She managed to find time in between treatments to collect more than 600 hats, bag them and donate them.  We are truly inspired by her selflessness!  Our hats are off to you, Angela!

Here are some photos that she sent along:

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More than 500 groups are holding Mad Hatter drives throughout the United States during October and November.  This is our fifth year holding a special Mad Hatter event and coordinating them nationwide.  We’ve seen some great photos posted to our Facebook page.  Here are a few:

Howard Health and Life Sciences High School had fun on Mad Hatter Day. We raised close to $300 for Hats off for Cancer and collected so many hats!

Morningside Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah hosted our first Silly Hat Day at Morningside Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah. 119 new hats collected! and lots of fun hats worn to school to help raise awareness for childhood cancer.

Stephen F Elementary School in Jones Creek, Texas donated over 150 brand new hats for the cause! The students were thrilled to show they care! we closed the hat drive off with a Mad Hatter day Popsicle Party! Way to go SFA!

Girl Scout Troop 5497 from Gravette, Arkansas hosted a Mad Hatter Tea Party, and afterwards knitted hats for Hats Off For Cancer. The hats that have been knitted and collected will be donated to Arkansas Children's Hsopital and St. Jude's Hospital.

Gainesville, Florida at O2B Kids Midtown Branch celebrates the kick-off for their Mad Hatter drive and tea party.

Did your group hold a hat or fundraising drive this year?  If so, post your photos to our Facebook page.

Interested in signing up your group/school/company to participate in Mad Hatter 2011?  There’s still time to sign up here.

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September 1st (today) marks the beginning of a month dedicated to bringing awareness to children fighting cancer. Here at Hats Off For Cancer we focus on children fighting cancer all year round.  However, this is a great opportunity to get the larger public involved in becoming more aware and more involved in helping these brave, young cancer patients.

I found a wonderfully written letter in the news this morning and I would like to share it with you.  It was written by Rod Hamilton, a Representative from Minnesota in District 22B.

For 43 families, today will be a difficult day. Thirty-six of them will have a child diagnosed with cancer; seven will see their child lose their battle.

Each year, 40,000 children undergo cancer treatment. The rate of childhood cancer has been increasing over the past 20 years, and it is now the leading cause of death by a disease in children under age 15. The average age of a child diagnosed with cancer: 6 years old. The causes: Unknown. The effect: Lifelong.

These statistics are sobering. Let them prompt you to take action. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. You can make a difference. Become a blood donor. It’s not the first thing people think of, but children in cancer treatment need blood. Remember, too, that every child battling cancer has a family. Give them your support and assistance as they endure tough times.

So by now, you’re probably wondering if there’s something you can do to help these kids.  Fortunately, there are ways that you can help provide smiles for these brave children while they’re fighting for their lives.

  • Hold a Mad Hatter hat or fundraising drive in your community, at your school, at your company or business, or with your organization (Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Key Club, Lions, Kiwanis, PTA, Dance Team, Cheerleading Team, etc…) Register for your official e-packet here: http://bit.ly/MadHatterHOC
    • Host a Mad Hatter Tea Party
    • Hold a Crazy Hat Parade and show off your craziest hat
    • Charge $1-$2 to wear hats at school for the day
    • Have an “Unbirthday” party and ask your friends to bring new hats to the celebration
    • Host a booth at your town’s fall carnival
    • The possibilities are endless!
  • Use our “Request a hat” form to personally request the perfect hat for a child that you know who is battling cancer.
  • Host a Tea Party and wear your favorite hat
  • Get a local band to put on a concert in honor of these kids and ask for a donation for Hats Off For Cancer at the door.
  • Ask your school to hold a dance and charge a small admission or a new hat for entrance.
  • Have a decorating or knitting party and create beautiful hats for the kids who lose their hair.
  • Go to your local hospital and volunteer during their play time.  These cancer patients are kids, too.  They want to have fun just like any child.
We hope that these suggestions will motivate you to help make a difference this month in the lives of children fighting cancer.  Together, we can make a childhood cancer patient’s day a bit happier and their smile a bit brighter.

Hats Off For Cancer is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization recognized by the IRS and considered tax-exempt to the fullest extent of the law.  All donations will receive a gift receipt in order for tax purposes.  As one of the leading hat programs As one of the leading and original hat programs, Hats Off For Cancer has donated more than 1,000,000 brand new hats to hospitals, camps, and individuals worldwide since it began in 1996. 

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Mad Hatter Day 2010

Cub Scout Pack 19 Brick NJ shows off the hats they collected...more than 2,000 hats in total!

It’s our fifth annual Mad Hatter Day (10/6/2011)! Time to put your thinking “mad hatter hat” on and create your own very special way to do your part helping kids with cancer!

Join schools, companies, organizations, sports teams and folks just like you who collected hats and donations for Hats Off For Cancer’s Mad Hatter Day to benefit pediatric cancer patients. Hold a special hat day at your school and donate $1 to wear a hat for the day, host a booth at your town’s fall carnival, get out your craziest hat and hold a parade, or a walk-a-thon. Or how about holding a Mad Hatter Tea Party! Just get your friends together, get organized and enjoy this fun day while doing something to help a child battling cancer. This can be held in September or October.

Register here http://bit.ly/MadHatterHOC and we’ll send you an information e-packet including the official rules. The first twenty to sign up will receive a complimentary Hats Off For Cancer gift pack to be used as a prize for your event. A special grand prize will also be awarded to the winner/group who collects the most hats/donations during this event! Be creative, have fun, but most of all remember the good that you are doing by joining us for this amazing event! Put a smile on the face of a child with cancer.

Connect with us:

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/HatsOffForCancerOrg

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/HatOffForCancer

Web site – http://www.hatsoffforcancer.org

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