KAYSVILLE — A Kaysville woman is rallying people around the world to crochet hats for babies born premature.
The project is Bonnie Potter's Christmas gift to families who might be going through a difficult time with their brand new babies being cared for in neonatal intensive care units.
The topic hits home for Potter. Two of her four kids spent time in the NICU after being born premature.
Someone donated a crocheted hat to the hospital's NICU; and when Potter put that hat on her baby's head, she said it made all the difference.
A hat is such a personal touch. It's something that's handmade, it's something that someone took the time for your baby to have.
–Bonnie Potter, Sunset Crochet
"Being in a warmer and everything, it was hard to associate that with 'that's my baby,'" Potter said. "And when I got to hold them and put on a hat and dress them, it made them feel like a baby."
"A hat is such a personal touch," she said. "It's something that's handmade, it's something that someone took the time for your baby to have."
That's what sparked Potter to begin the 12 Days of Christmas Crochet Challenge on her Facebook page Sunset Crochet. This is the second year for the project, but the first year she's received over 1,700 people crocheting hats — and they're coming in from Australia, France, Thailand, and other countries.
So far, the Christmas Crochet volunteers have made 20,000 hats, ranging from plum-size to orange-size. They will be donated to hospital neonatal intensive care units around the world.
Potter said she often reads stories from moms who have lost their babies and others who are forming close bonds with their family members because of this project.
"They can put on a hat and hold their baby close just for a little while, and it is a tender and special time, and it's something they can take home and keep," Potter said. "It's very, very healing for everyone involved."
In some cultures around the world, the 12 days of Christmas actually begins Dec. 25 and ends Jan. 6, so the challenge is open until Christmas Day.