A little boy wears a red hat from Mended Little Hearts.To celebrate American Heart Month, Mended Little Hearts of West Michigan and the American Heart Association will be providing red hats for all babies born during the month of February at the Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Family Birth Center.

The goal of this program is to raise awareness of heart disease and stroke, including congenital heart issues which are the most common type of birth defect in the world.

“We are excited to participate in this program and help raise awareness during American Heart Month,” said Gerber Memorial Director of Nursing for Obstetrics and Nursery, Beth Coulier, RN, BSN. “Not only does this provide newborns in our birth center with a handmade hat to keep him or her warm, but it educates parents on one of the most common birth defects.”

Volunteers have knitted or crocheted over 6,000 newborn-sized baby hats using soft, red, cotton or acrylic yarn. The hats have been washed with dye-free, scent-free soap and are individually packaged in plastic bags with a note about Heart Month and contact information for the American Heart Association and Mended Little Hearts of West Michigan.